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Side effects of the morning after pill

The morning after pill may prevent an unwanted pregnancy, but can cause some side effects like an irregular period, fatigue, headaches, abdominal pain, dizziness, nausea and vomiting.

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

  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • Headache;
  • Fatigue;
  • Bleeding outside your normal menstrual period;
  • Breast tenderness;
  • Abdominal pain;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Irregular period, it may anticipate or delay bleeding.

Side effects can occur in both the single-dose 1,5 mg levonorgestrel pill or the two dose version of levonorgestrel, each pill containing a 0,75 mg.

See how to take the morning after pill and the possible changes that may occur to your menstrual cycle after taking it.

Side effects of the morning after pill

What to do

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

1. Nausea and vomiting

You should eat as soon as you ingest the pill in order to reduce nausea. If nausea occurs, you can take a home remedy, such as ginger tea or Indian clove tea with cinnamon, or use antiemetic medication. See which pharmacy medication you can take.

2. Headache and abdominal pain

If you experience headache or abdominal pain, you can take a painkiller such as paracetamol or Dipyrone, for example. If you don't want to take medication, follow these 5 steps to alleviate your headache.

3. Breast tenderness

To relieve breast pain, you can apply warm patches, as well as taking a warm water bath and massaging the region.

4. Diarrhea

In cases of diarrhea, drink plenty of fluids, avoid greasy foods, eggs, milk and alcohol, and drink black tea, chamomile or guava leaf tea. Find out more about how to treat diarrhea.

Side effects of the morning after pill

Who cannot take this pill

The morning after pill should not be used by men, during breastfeeding, pregnancy or if you are allergic to any of it's ingredients.

It is recommended you see a gynecologist before using the pill in cases of high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, morbid obesity or in situations of abnormal genital bleeding or of unknown origin.

Is it possible to get pregnant even if you take the morning-after pill?

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

  • The levonorgestrel pill is not taken within the first 72 hours after unprotected intercourse, or the ulipristal acetate pill is not taken for up to 120 hours;
  • If you are taking antibiotics or other medication that decrease the effect of the pill;
  • Vomiting or diarrhea occur within 4 hours of taking the pill;
  • Ovulation has already occurred;
  • You have taken the morning-after pill several times in the same month.

If you vomit or have diarrhea within 4 hours of taking the pill, you should see a doctor or pharmacist because it may be necessary to take a new dose of the pill for it to have the desired effect.

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

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