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Morning-After Pill Information and Your Options in Lynchburg

Learn more about Plan B, Julie, ella, and other emergency contraceptives.

Morning-After Pills

Morning After Pills, also called emergency contraceptives, are used 3-5 days after unprotected intercourse or contraceptive failure (ie. broken condom). These medications are not to be used to end a pregnancy. Emergency contraceptives are not the same as abortion pills or chemical abortion.

Julie, PlanB, Nextchoice and Aftera are over the counter emergency contraceptives and can be used up to 72 hrs. after sex. They are not to be used more than once in a monthly cycle and should not be used as regular birth control. 

A prescription only emergency contraceptive called ella can be taken up to 5 days after unprotected sex. Although this medication interferes with ovulation (releasing an egg), it also has strong anti-progesterone properties making the lining of the uterus unfavorable for the embryo to implant and survive. 

There are many side effects with emergency contraceptives including heavy menstrual bleeding, nausea, lower abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, dizziness, breast tenderness, and delay of menses. There are several medications that interfere with emergency contraceptives and a physician should be consulted if you take any prescription meds or herbal supplements.

Emergency contraceptives have not been shown to increase risk of an ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside of the uterus). However, any women having abdominal pain one week or later, after taking these medications, should see a physician immediately. This could mean the pregnancy was not prevented and there could be an ectopic pregnancy. 

Although Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center does not prescribe or advocate for emergency contraceptives, we are knowledgeable about their use and side effects. If you think you may be pregnant despite using an emergency contraceptive, call us for a pregnancy test appointment and options counseling.

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