Morning-after pills: Does overdoing it affect fertility in women?

There are so many myths about morning-after pills that it is natural to feel wary about using the pills too often.

Taking the morning after pill

Morning-after pills or emergency contraception are a safe option when you are not using regular birth control methods. However, there are so many myths about them that it is natural to feel wary about using the pills too often. Will they affect your body negatively, what are the side effects, and most importantly will they impact your fertility and reduce your chances of getting pregnant?

The short answer? No. Morning-after pills do not have an adverse effect on fertility, and they do not reduce your chances of conception, according to experts. However, it is important to be informed about how they work and when should they be taken.

To achieve maximum effectiveness, these pills need to be taken as soon as possible after the unprotected sex, and not more than 72 hours after the sex.

Though they are useful, it should be noted that morning-after pills should be treated as a backup and not as the go-to method for birth control. There is a reason they are called emergency contraception.

They can be taken to prevent pregnancy in case of unprotected sex, or you miss to take your birth control pill or when the condom bursts during sex.

Doctors do not recommend it to be used often because they are not as effective as regular contraceptive methods. Moreover, they do not provide protection against sexually transmitted disease.

You do not get pregnant right after having sex. Sperm can live inside a woman's body for up to five days after sex. In case she ovulates (release of an egg from the ovary) during that time, the sperm then meets the egg, resulting in pregnancy.

Morning pills stop the release of the egg from the ovary; therefore, the pregnancy will not occur. The effectiveness of the pill decreases, the closer you get to ovulation. Therefore, timing is crucial, and it is beneficial to take the pill as soon as possible to prevent release of the egg. You can take the pill on any day of your cycle.

Experts say it is safe to take them multiple times but there are certain side effects of these pills one should know. They delay ovulation, thereby causing irregular menstrual cycles. Another reason these pills are not recommended is that women would expose themselves to higher levels of hormones than they would through regular birth control methods.

Some other side effects include.

  • Gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Tender breasts for a short period
  • Headache

In case you are sick or throw up within 2 hours after taking the pill, you should seek medical attention as the pill might become ineffective or must be taken again.

There are chances that the pills might not be effective for women who are obese with BMI greater than 30. In such cases, it is better to talk to your doctor before relying on an emergency contraception.

However, a small percentage of women will still get pregnant after taking the pill. It is better to rely on regular methods of birth control and use morning pills only in cases of an emergency.

Nevertheless, emergency contraceptives have protected countless women from unwanted pregnancies.

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