​​​​Life & Family Services


How does the Morning After Pill work?

Emergency Contraception may work one of three ways:

  • It may prevent ovulation.
  • It may prevent fertilization.
  • It may prevent implantation of a fertilized egg, resulting in an early abortion.*
  • There is no way to know which of the three ways Emergency Contraception is working at any one time.  

It is important to note that Emergency Contraception will not work if you are already pregnant.  It cannot terminate a pregnancy that has already implanted into the uterus.   It will not prevent the spread of STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections), and does not protect against the spread of HIV (the virus that causes AIDS.)  EC should not be used as a form of routine birth control.

What are the side effects?

Common side effects of Plan B include:

  • Changes in your period
  • Nausea
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Breast tenderness*

Severe abdominal pain should be reported to a doctor right away as it could be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy.

What should I know if I’m thinking about using the Morning After Pill?

  • Use of the Morning After Pill exposes your body to large doses of hormones.  Long term effects of this kind of use are not known. 
  • Use of the Morning After Pill may affect your period by making it heavier or lighter, or by making it early or late.*
  • Sperm can live 3-5 days in the reproductive tract of a female.**   The egg released each month is available for only 12-24 hours, therefore pregnancy can only occur within a 5-7 day period each month.**  Taking a pill with a large dose of hormones when it isn’t necessary isn’t a good idea.

Take the time to think about what you want for your body and for your good health. Call today and schedule an appointment to talk to one of our peer counselors.


* Plan B© One-Step website:
**  American Pregnancy Association website:

This information is intended for general education purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional and/or medical advice.​

Morning After Pill - Important Facts