What if you have taken the day after pill more than 3 times a year? Is it still effective? What are the side effects to it?
Women should feel free to use the morning-after pill (also known as emergency contraception, ) whenever they think it’s necessary. The morning-after pill is not recommended as an ongoing form of birth control because it’s not as effective at preventing pregnancy as birth control methods like the IUD, patch, pill, ring, or shot. Also, frequent use of emergency contraception may cause periods to become irregular and unpredictable.
Emergency contraception is safe. Even though it’s made of the same hormone as the birth control pill, the morning-after pill does not have the same risks as taking the pill or other hormonal birth control methods continuously. That’s because the hormone in the morning-after pill is not in your body as long as it is with ongoing birth control.
Millions of women have used emergency contraception. It has been used for more than 30 years. There have been no reports of serious complications.
Emergency contraception can reduce the risk of pregnancy if started within 120 hours of unprotected vaginal intercourse. The sooner it’s started, the better. If started within 72 hours of unprotected sex, it can reduce the risk of pregnancy up to 89 percent.
Women and men 17 and older can get the morning-after pill over the counter at drugstores. Women younger than 17 will need a prescription. To get a prescription for emergency contraception, visit the Planned Parenthood health center nearest you.