Morning After Pill Side Effects

Learn more about the morning after pill side effects to prepare yourself for the aftermath of this pill. Morning after pills, also known as emergency contraceptive pills, do not have serious side effects and are generally safe. They can be taken for up to five days after unprotected sex to rid a potential pregnancy. Morning after pill side effects may be felt immediately and last for weeks after ingesting the pill.

  1. Nausea. More than half of the women using the morning after pill will experience nausea and some vomiting. This side effect can be minimized by taking the pill with food. Do not take an extra dose after vomiting, as enough hormone will have reached the blood stream to effectively prevent pregnancy.
  2. Menstrual cycle changes. If a women takes the morning after pill, her next menstrual cycle may be early or late. Many women will begin their menstrual cycle seven to nine days after treatment. Take a pregnancy test if the menstrual cycle has not started after 21 days. Light bleeding may occur a few days after ingesting the morning after pill.
  3. Ectopic pregnancy. One of the most threatening morning after pill side effects is an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy occurs outside of the uterus, and the baby cannot survive so it does not develop. If the morning after pill is not effective or is taken after five days, an ectopic pregnancy may occur.
  4. Breast tenderness. Sudden changes of hormones in the body from the pill may cause breast tenderness. The breasts may be tender the same day the pill is taken, and the tenderness may last for weeks. Take acetaminophen pills and wear sport bras to relieve breast tenderness.
  5. Headache. Women may experience headaches after taking the morning after pill. Headaches are caused by sudden changes of hormones, and they may last until the woman begins her menstrual cycle. Take acetaminophen pills to relieve headaches.
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