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Side Effects When Off The Morning Pill

By Padmapreetham Mahalingam

Not many are aware that an emergency contraceptive pill is called ‘the morning-after pill’. In medical terms, these pills are known as Levonelle and ellaOne. The emergency contraception is an effective alternative for prevention of pregnancy after sexual intercourse without protection or failure of a contraceptive method.

In order to prevent unwarranted pregnancy, most women prefer to take the morning-after pill. Yet most of them don’t realise that it has to be taken shortly after unprotected sex. Morning-after pill is more advisable if the condom breaks anytime during sexual intercourse. TYPES OF CONTRACEPTIVES FOR WOMEN

Yet in reality, this contraception is not as effective as it never offers any kind of protection from sexually transmitted diseases. It has been found out that one in five women do become pregnant because of unprotected sex, especially when they are off the morning pill.

Nowadays, the contraception pill contains more of progestin. There is absolutely zilch oestrogen in it and that leads to fewer side effects. The emergency contraceptive pill, which should be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, has more chances of causing side effects in some patients. This applies to Levonelle one step tablet as well as ellaOne.

The most common short-term side effects of the emergency contraceptive pill includes nausea, vomiting and tiredness, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, dizziness, headaches, tender breasts and irregular vaginal bleeding.

When off the morning pill, you can prevent allergic reactions such as rashes, itching, dizziness or any trouble in breathing. Here are some of the more common side effects of the morning pill.


An important side effect of morning pill or 'post-coital contraception' is that there is a chance of you getting pregnant. It is likely for you to get pregnant if you have waited no more than 24 hours to seek medical advice or had sex more than once. If the morning after pill (Plan B) has been taken within 72 hours after having sexual intercourse, then it can possibly reduce the risk of pregnancy by 89 percent. The most important reason when you should be off the morning pill is when you have a rare hereditary blood disorder called acute porphyrias. Women who have the feeling that they might be pregnant should be off the morning pill.

Vaginal bleeding

It has been studied that women who have progestin-only emergency contraceptive pills (like Plan B One-Step) are bound to suffer from irregular periods. This causes increased possibility of an irregular menstrual cycle. If you have taken the emergency contraceptive during the first three weeks of your monthly menstrual cycle, then you could end up getting your periods much earlier than expected.

However, taking the contraception pill three or more days after your ovulation date is likely to make it come behind schedule (late). The reason when you have to be off the morning pill is during the preovulatory phase as taking the tablet during this time can cause spotting or bleeding.

Nausea or vomiting

Levonelle one step tablet contains the hormone 'levonorgestrel, which happens to be the artificial version of the natural hormone progesterone. This does cause side effects for most people. The side effects of this morning pill are nausea and vomiting. If you have been persistently vomiting and have taken this pill within two hours, then it is ideal to take a second dose than being off the morning pill. On the other hand, a person who has taken ellaOne could experience the side effects of the morning pill such as headache, nausea, abdominal pain, muscle pain and back ache. An important time when you should be off the morning pill is when you are regularly taking some other medications for your health.

Read more about: birth control
Story first published: Sunday, October 12, 2014, 6:04 [IST]
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