The Morning Aftermath : Is it possible to take the morning after pill and still have an unplanned pregnancy?

Emergency contraception pills like Plan B contain a synthetic hormone called progestin. They prevent pregnancy by delaying the release of the egg from the ovary to prevent fertilization.


According to Dr. Michelle Metz, general obgyn, emergency contraception can make your next period come late or early, and generally, it will be much heavier, and have more days of bleeding.


Side effects include nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, breast tenderness, headache, dizziness, emotional instability and fatigue. About 50% of women who take combined emergency contraception experience nausea and 20% vomit. In a normal pregnancy, progesterone is produced in the placenta and levels remain elevated throughout pregnancy, so if you are taking a progesterone pill, you are getting the symptoms of pregnancy.


Furthermore, not only is the Morning After Pill hard on the pocketbook costing up to $50 per pill, but emergency contraception is less effective than using conventional birth control properly. In addition to a woman being concerned about preventing an unplanned pregnancy, she should not have to deal with the confusion of whether she is experiencing the side effects of emergency contraception or the fear of being faced with an unplanned pregnancy.


Metz suggests that if one has taken emergency contraception and their period doesn’t come, they should take a pregnancy test. Even though one is less likely to get pregnant when taking the morning after pill, it does not terminate an existing pregnancy.


In addition, if a woman does not accurately time intercourse and cycle day, her timing of ovulation will be inaccurate potentially leading to an unplanned pregnancy.


According to researchers for Princeton University (2019), one study compared self report of cycle day with urinary pregnanediol concentrations to reveal that over 30% of women presenting for emergency contraception inaccurately dated their own menstrual cycles, believing themselves to be in the fertile phase of their cycle when they were not. Another study found that 99 women were between days -5 and +1 when the day of ovulation (day 0) was estimated as usual cycle length minus 13. However, hormonal data indicated that only 51 of these 99 (56%) were in fact between days -5 and +1.


At True Choice Medical Clinics, we empower women to become participants of their health through helping them identify vital signs of their general and reproductive health. Our trained medical staff provide evidence-based  resources and teaching sessions with face-to-face feedback to help women accurately track cycles and hormonal health. Not only do women establish accurate personal health records, but they are able to evaluate cycle or hormonal abnormalities and aid in fertility management.


By staying connected to a TCMC medical professional throughout the education process, woman can truly make an informed decision when she know the signs, symptoms and how to read the science of her body.



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