Medical Q&As

Emergency contraception - over reliance on it?

Is there any danger associated with taking the morning after pill regularly? I have taken it twice and am worried that I may have caused some harm to myself? Does it affect fertility?

I am less concerned about possible side effects from emergency contraception than I am about the fact that you have found yourself in situations where you have needed to avail of this treatment on a number of occasions. Emergency contraception as the term suggests is for emergency use and should not be relied upon as a regular safety net if precautions have not been taken. There is a failure rate associated with emergency contraception and I am strongly of the view that the first consultation for emergency contraception provides an opportunity for the woman and doctor to discuss future contraceptive measures. You need to take control of your situation. Either you decide to cease being sexually active for the moment or else consult with your GP or family planning clinic about the contraceptive options that are available to you. With regard to your query on safety the emergency contraceptive pill is safe. Some women may experience nausea and some may even vomit but a separate tablet is usually provided to prevent these symptoms. Emergency pill contraception does not have any effects on fertility. Finally, I have used the term emergency contraception throughout this answer because I donít think that the term morning after pill is a good term to use because it can be misleading. It can be taken up to 72 hours after unprotected intercourse and there are other emergency contraceptive techniques such as emergency coil insertion that do not involve the use of pills.