Side effects of the morning after pill

The morning after pill serves to prevent an unwanted pregnancy and can cause some side effects such as irregular menstruation, tiredness, headache, abdominal pain, dizziness, nausea and vomiting.

The main unpleasant effects that the emergency contraceptive pill can have are:

  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • Headache;
  • Excessive tiredness;
  • Bleeding outside the menstrual period;
  • Breast sensitivity;
  • Abdominal pain;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Irregular menstruation, which may advance or delay bleeding.

Side effects can arise both in the single-dose levonorgestrel pill, with one 1.5 mg tablet, and in the divided into two doses, with two 0.75 mg tablets.

See how to take and how the morning-after pill works and what your period looks like after taking this emergency contraceptive.

What to do

Some side effects can be treated, or even avoided, as follows:

1. Nausea and vomiting

The person should eat immediately after taking the pill, in order to reduce nausea. If nausea occurs, you can take a home remedy, such as ginger tea or clove tea with cinnamon or use antiemetic medications. See which pharmacy remedies you can take.

2. Headache and abdominal pain

If the person feels headache or abdominal pain, they can take an analgesic, such as paracetamol or dipyrone, for example. If you don't want to take any more medication, follow these 5 steps to relieve your headache.

3. Breast tenderness

To relieve pain in the breasts, you can put warm compresses, as well as take a bath with warm water and massage the area.

4. Diarrhea

In cases of diarrhea, drink plenty of fluids, avoid fatty foods, eggs, milk and alcoholic beverages and drink black tea, chamomile tea or guava leaves. Learn more about treating diarrhea.

Who can not take this pill

The morning-after pill should not be used by men, during breastfeeding, pregnancy or if the woman is allergic to any of the components of the medicine.

In addition, it is recommended to consult the gynecologist before using the pill in cases of high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, morbid obesity or in case of abnormal genital bleeding or of unknown origin.

Is it possible to get pregnant even after taking the morning-after pill?

Yes. Although it is a very low chance, it is possible to get pregnant even if you take the morning-after pill, especially if:

  • The pill containing levonorgestrel is not taken within the first 72 hours after unprotected intimate contact, or the pill containing ulipristal acetate is not taken until a maximum of 120 hours;
  • The woman is taking antibiotics or other medications that lessen the effect of the pill. Find out which antibiotics cut the pill's effect;
  • Vomiting or diarrhea occurs within 4 hours of taking the pill;
  • Ovulation has already occurred;
  • The morning-after pill has already been taken several times in the same month.

In case of vomiting or diarrhea within 4 hours of taking the pill, the woman should consult a doctor or pharmacist because it may be necessary to take a new dose of the pill for it to take effect.

It is important to note that emergency oral contraception does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.