Morning After Pill
How the emergency contraceptive pill works
The ECP prevents pregnancy by delaying the release of an egg from your ovary until sperm are no longer active, and changing the lining of your uterus so a fertilised egg cannot implant and develop.
The ECP is for emergency use only and is not a substitute for regular contraception.
The ECP’s effectiveness
The emergency contraceptive pill will be most effective if you take it as soon as possible after unprotected sex. Taking the ECP within 24 hours is best, but it can prevent pregnancy if taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex.
• 95% of expected pregnancies when taken within 24 hours of unprotected sex
• 85% if taken within 25 - 48 hours
• Breast tenderness
Your next period will probably come at the expected time, but it may be early or late, and it could be heavier than usual.
You should make an appointment to see your doctor immediately if:
• Your next period is unusually light or heavy, more than 5 days late or, if you’re taking oral contraceptives and there is no bleeding in the pill-free interval
It’s recommended that you use a barrier contraceptive (condoms) until your next period.
If you use a contraceptive pill, keep taking the hormonal pills as normal and use additional barrier protection for seven days. If you have less than seven hormonal pills left in the packet, you should continue with the next pack and omit the seven day break or placebo (sugar) tablets.
The emergency contraceptive pill is generally safe to take while breastfeeding, but check with your Pharmacist or doctor if you are concerned.