1. How does emergency contraceptive work?

Taking emergency contraceptive is all about timing. Emergency contraceptive pills mainly prevents pregnancy by temporarily stopping or delaying ovulation (ovaries from releasing an egg). If you’ve ovulated before taking an emergency contraceptive pill, it won’t stop an egg meeting a sperm to create a pregnancy. So, make sure you take note of your menstrual cycle well before you think of having unprotected sex because emergency contraceptive may not work for you at some period of your menstrual cycle. These periods include, your fertile window, four days before you ovulate, the day you ovulate. You can get pregnant within these periods if you have unprotected sex and still take emergency contraceptive.

  1. How long after having unprotected sex can I take the emergency pill?

Almost all emergency contraceptive pills are effective when you take them within 72 hours after unprotected sex. After this period the effectiveness of the drug start reducing. When you take emergency contraceptive pills after the 72 hours (3 days) your chances of becoming pregnant increases. Don’t delay taking emergency contraceptive pills if you want to prevent pregnancy after an unprotected sex because the sooner you take it, the better it’s going to work. Emergency contraceptive should be taken as soon as possible. It is very important to always read the drug leaflet to check the supposed period that emergency contraceptive operates.

  1. Is it safe to use emergency contraceptive pills more than once a month?

Since emergency contraceptive pills works by delaying ovulation, it changes the menstrual cycle of females. Repeated disturbance of the menstrual cycle is not good for your reproductive health. The emergency contraceptive pill should not be used as your regular form of contraceptive. Emergency contraceptive should only be taken at most once a month. If you don’t have any form of regular contraceptive, you can talk to your nearer health care provider for an assistance.

  1. Does emergency contraceptive pill work when you are already pregnant?

No. Emergency contraceptive pills do not work when you are already pregnant. Emergency contraceptive works best when ovulation hasn’t occurred yet. It is best to take before you ovulate so that the emergency pills can prevent the release of an egg from the ovary or delay its release by 5 to 7 days. By then, any sperm in the woman’s reproductive tract would have died, since sperms can survive Fallopian tube for only about 3-6 days.

  1. Will the foetus be harmed/cause abortion if a woman accidentally takes emergency contraceptive?

No, emergency contraceptives pills cannot harm your fetus or cause abortion. It works only by delaying or inhibiting ovulation and does not have any function of terminating a pregnancy. Research has also made it clear that emergency contraceptives (ECPs) will not cause birth defects and will not otherwise harm the fetus when taken during pregnancy. Do not take with the aim of terminating pregnancy. It won’t work.

This blog pro­vides infor­ma­tion about vaginal health and related sub­jects. The blog content and any linked materials herein are not intended to be, and should not be con­strued as a substitute for, med­ical or healthcare advice, diagnosis or treatment. Any reader or per­son with a med­ical con­cern should con­sult a healthcare provider. This blog is provided purely for informational purposes.

The article was written by Godfrey Yeboah Amoah and was published at vagicarekonsult.com .Translation and voice note were done by Mrs. Nancy Boateng

Godfrey Yeboah Amoah
Godfrey Yeboah Amoah

Godfrey Yeboah Amoah is a reproductive health and rights activist and the founder of Vagicare Konsult. A medical Laboratory scientist by profession and a specialty in population and health, Godfrey combines his professional knowledge, experience and specialty to educate females on quality reproductive health practices.


  1. Florence Frimpong

    Please anytime I have sex I don’t feel it good and the feelings I felt is pains and is like I don’t the beginning I will I will feel it and will be wet but later it won’t be like that my vagina will be dry and I want to know if it’s a problem

    Thank you so much

    1. This I know happens when you have candidate infection .
      Or a bacteria infection
      I will advice you go to any hospital for a urinary RE test .

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