Morning After Pill : What you need to know

1. What is the morning after pill?

The morning after pill is a form of emergency contraception that is taken orally after unprotected sex or when contraception has failed. You can get it without a prescription at your local pharmacy, some sexual health or family planning clinics.

2. How does the morning after pill work?

They normally work by delaying the release of an egg (ovulation) so the sperm cannot fertilise it because it (sperm) can only survive up to 5 days inside the female body.

3. When can you take the morning after pill?

It’s recommended to take it within 72 hours of unprotected sex

4. How effective is the morning after pill?

If you have already ovulated before you take the morning after pill, it won’t work. It also does not end a pregnancy if the egg has already been fertilised. The morning after pill is not an abortion pill and will not harm an existing pregnancy.

5. How will it affect my period?

For some women, their next period may be heavier and more painful than usual.

Taking the emergency contraceptive pill can alter your next period. It may be on time, or a few days earlier or later than usual - this varies for everyone. If you haven't had a period more than a week after its expected, it is shorter or lighter than usual, or you are concerned that emergency contraception may have failed, take a pregnancy test and consult a doctor.