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Side Effects of Morning after Pills for Contraception

Updated on July 22, 2010
Morning after pills can also cause breast discomfort
Morning after pills can also cause breast discomfort

Emergency contraception or birth control must be done under the supervision of a fertility and reproductive health specialist because if it is done improperly, it could have long term side effects and can be harmful for health of a woman. In some cases, contraceptive pills can also cause difficulty in getting pregnant for a few months after stopping the pills. Emergency contraception should be used sparingly. Frequent use of morning after pills such as an i-pill or Yazmin in India or Seasonale, Jolessa, Quasense, Seasonique, Lybrel, Yak, Kariva, or Mircette in USA can not only decrease their effectiveness but long term use of these pills for contraception can alter the patterns of inhibiting or delaying ovulation, making it difficult to calculate your menstruation cycles. Contraceptive pills must be prescribed by a physician since the objective is to know why it is used. Though it is recommend to use morning after pills for emergent contraception once is a while but do not make it a habit because there are many women around the world who use these pills just because they know it will help them in avoiding pregnancy, so most of the sites with information on, How to not be pregnant?” recommend their use and this is not good for women’s health.

Mild-to-moderate headaches - a common side effect of morning after pill.
Mild-to-moderate headaches - a common side effect of morning after pill.

It is ideal to use morning after pills only once and the next month to begin planning. According to some recent research done by many senior gynecologists if contraceptive pills are used with intervals of less than two months, the effects will not wait in the woman and a women can form cysts in the ovaries (for eggs that were arrested). Also, frequent use of morning after pills includes other side effects like fluid retention, headache, breast discomfort, altered menstrual period (stop coming or come very often), bleeding, and absence of menstruation in some.

You can buy a morning after pill online here but remember to use it only for emergency, no frequent use

It is not logical to take morning after pill frequently since it must be understood that it is a a method of emergency contraception only and you should better check this word again, “EMERGENCY”. Even single use of morning after pill disrupts the natural behavior of the ovaries for a temporary time period and the next cycle is readjusted. But in using morning after pills continuously, it is possible that other hormones alter different from ovulation and women can have absence of menstrual periods, inadequate growth of the endometrium.

How a morning after pill works?

Morning after pills or contraceptive pills work as follows: Morning after pills alter the processes of ovulation that causes changes in the cervical mucus to prevent the rise of the sperm and prevents the implantation of fertilized egg, therefore, causing contraception.

Frequent use of morning after pills or contraceptive pills also cause nausea and vomiting in some females.
Frequent use of morning after pills or contraceptive pills also cause nausea and vomiting in some females.

Other side effects of morning after pills may include vomiting, headache, or sinus congestion that can last for more than 24 hours after consuming the pill. Sometimes, also causes abnormalities in the menstrual cycle. If morning after pills are taken when the endometrium is grown, it is possible for the women to experience abundant bleeding sometimes once or sometimes twice. Menstrual changes vary with the time of the cycle when the pills are consumed.

Emergency contraception over the counter
Emergency contraception over the counter

Watch this video in a new window Birth Control Pills Cause Embryonic Abortions Pro-Life Video

Effectiveness of morning after pill

Though emergency contraception with the use of morning after pill reduces the chance of pregnancy by about 85% but believing that if you will take it, then there will be no pregnancy and there is no need to use other protective measures like condoms, etc. is a big mistake because the effectiveness of morning after pill is for 24 hours. It is recommended to take morning after pills within 72 hours of sexual intercourse. In a recent study by WHO (World Health Organization), it has been shown that a morning after pill remains effective up to 120 hours, but between 73 and 120 hours, there were some duplication of pregnancies approximately 2.6% compared to the first 72 hours where there were a small percentage of pregnancies and that was 1.64%.

So last but not least, frequent use of morning after pills for contraception can cause many types of short term and long term side effects in women and can be detrimental for women's reproductive health so it is highly recommended to limit its use and use it on an emergency basis only.

Fluid retention and weight gain - Other side effects of frequent use of birth control pills
Fluid retention and weight gain - Other side effects of frequent use of birth control pills


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    • profile image


      4 years ago


      I have had sex with my bf with his condom on. The first time, he had his condom on but removed it for 3-4 mins and we had sex and he came after about 3-4 mins of taking out his penis of me.

      The second time after 1-2 hours, we had sex again and this time too he had his condom on and he came into me ( inside the condom ). There was no tearing off of the condom and no leakage too. We checked.

      Now, it's about to be 48 hrs since we had sex. Should I take a contraceptive pill ? I'm a 20 year old.


    • profile image


      5 years ago

      OMG, but i have been using i-pill quite much, as compared to the 'twice in a lifetime' recommendation. Not really much, but in a gap or a month or more. Is it already too late? Coz i havnt experienced anything unusual apart from menstrual cycle, which was altered once or twice.. Plz help!

    • soni2006 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajinder Soni 

      5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Hi Chatoyant, it's good that you know the real side effects of these types of pills.

    • Chatoyant profile image


      6 years ago

      this pill is very dangerous for the body. It can actually make a lot of unpleasant changes. From what I know, it's not ok to take the pill for more than twice in a life time.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      i took the morning after pill 3 yrs ago . i still have really bad nausea, heartburn it feels kindof like an anxiety attack that happens every month when i ovulate and menstrate so 10 days a month i feel a little sick . Ever since i took the pill

    • profile image

      jay s.a 

      6 years ago

      I wasn't quite aware of the dangerz of diz pillz up until my periodz came as sticky dark brown discharge,then i realised dat obviously ther is sumin wrong wit em. I used em frequently,a month wouldn't pass withot me using em to an enxtend dat i wouldn't even know wen to expect my periods anymre. So now my bf nd i are tryn to have a bby and m scared of complications, due to da pillz. But anyway wish me luck,iam sure il b bck to tel gud news!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      My girlfriend has taken I pill after 72 hours after intercourse now she is saying its paing her too much in her stomch even she was feeling vomiting at the time of intercourse I don't give her whole I give out the sperm out side but also I suspect case she has taken the pill wht will happn now pls help me....

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i took the morning afert pills but still i can't get menstruation. what's wrong?

    • soni2006 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajinder Soni 

      8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      No probs Veronica. I think you need to say more on this as you have undergone these and experienced yourselves. Even me and my wife are using condoms for birth control and no contraceptive pills. Why should I throw my wife in the hands of birth control pills when I can easily apply a condom. I know the side effects and risks of using birth control pills as my wife has taken those in the past not for avoiding pregnancy but for treating PCOS, Diane was a nightmare for her. She kept on sleeping all day. She gained more weight and after stopping these pills, she is again much more active than me especially she has to be because we have a high energy kid in our house. I think I am going off topic, so the main point here is that there are numerous side effects of morning after pills or in short form BCPs so it is better to stay as much away from them if possible and use them only in the time of emergency and do not make it a habit.

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      I've always been afraid of any type of prescribed birthcontrol. Like BkCreative mentioned, these are drugs after all, and drugs usually have side effects attached to them. After I had my first child, my OBGYN discussed in detail my birthcontrol options and the side effects that came along with them. It is for that reason, that my husband and I opted to use condomns instead. Well, it worked for two going on three years, until we "forgot" to use one, and now we have two beautiful girls. Now I can't have children due to a combination of a tubal ligation, followed by the NovaSure procedure (these procedures have their side effects as well - none of which I've experienced as of yet) performed about a year and a half later. Inevitably, it's important for every woman to educate themselves on the pros and cons of any type of birth control - especially if it's something they'll be taking on a regular basis. Thank you for this information. Sorry my comment is so lengthy. :)

    • soni2006 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajinder Soni 

      8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Yes even birth control pills are taken by many women around the world without any prescription or what we say over the counter. Raising the awareness of side effects of these pills is very important and that's why I published this hub. Thanks a lot Bkcreative for a brief review of this hub and adding your important comment.

    • BkCreative profile image


      8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks so much for pointing out the side effects - these are drugs after all and always come with potential side effects - that can even be life-threatening. We need to take the whole idea of sex and birth control seriously. And it should be shared - not the responsibility only of women. Birth control for women alone allows us to be open to every kind of disease on earth. It makes no sense.

      A necessary hub - thanks so much!


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