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19th Dec 2017

5 urban myths we’ve all heard about the morning after pill

Brought to you by ellaOne.

No, it won’t make you infertile.

Emergency contraception – also known as the morning-after pill – has long been shrouded in mystery and stigma. Some people equate it with abortions, and many women have concerns about taking it.

And, although we’re all well-informed on contraception, accidents can happen, condoms can tear and pills can be forgotten. The morning after pill is the one go-to contraception when all else fails, but some of us remain a little unsure about using it.

Here are five myths that often surface when it comes to taking emergency contraception:

1. Repeated use can lead to infertility

Emergency contraception has no effect on future fertility and there is no evidence to suggest that using the morning-after pill will make you infertile.

Emergency contraception will not protect you from pregnancy if you have unprotected sex again in the days following intake. And, if you want to have sex after using emergency contraception, you should use a barrier method of contraception until your next period, this is because your fertility can come back very quickly.

2. You literally have to take it the morning after

Another falsie. The morning-after pill doesn’t have to be taken the morning after, but it is most effective the sooner you take it. If you haven’t been able to get it immediately, don’t panic! ellaOne (ulipristal acetate) can be taken within five days (120 hours) of unprotected sex and alternative emergency contraceptive pills can be taken within 3 days (72 hours) of unprotected sex. The pills work by preventing or delaying ovulation and must be taken as soon as possible as they aren’t effective if ovulation has already taken place.

3. It works by causing a mini abortion

The morning after pill DOES NOT cause an ‘emergency period’ or an abortion, it actually works by delaying your egg release (ovulation). This means that the sperm waiting in the fallopian tubes won’t be able to meet an egg and fertilise it. It’s similar to regular contraceptive pills, which mostly work by preventing egg release. If you’re already pregnant, emergency contraception will not interrupt your pregnancy.

4. You need a doctors appointment or a prescription to get it

Nope. If you need emergency contraception you can head straight to the pharmacy to get the morning after pill after a quick consultation with the pharmacist – you don’t need to get a prescription from your doctor, although it is also possible to go down this route too.

And good news, from the 1st July 2017 this year, changes to the General Medical Card Scheme in Ireland mean that the morning after pill is now also available in pharmacy for women with a medical card, without a prescription.

5. You can only take it three times in your life

Not true, there’s NO limit to the number of times you can take the morning-after pill and you can use if anytime you think you are at risk of an unplanned pregnancy. Do remember that emergency contraception will NOT protect you from pregnancy if you have unprotected sex again in the days after you take it, so make sure you use a barrier method of contraception, like condoms, until your next period.

Because it’s an emergency contraceptive it shouldn’t be used as your main contraceptive method. If you are confused about the best contraceptive for you it’s advisable you talk to your pharmacist or GP to discuss other contraceptive options.


Brought to you by ellaOne.

ellaOne is an emergency contraceptive pill that is available from pharmacies without a prescription.  No other morning after pill is more effective at preventing pregnancy after unprotected sex.

ellaOne consists of one tablet which should be taken as soon as possible, but no later than 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. Each tablet of ellaOne contains 30 mg ulipristal acetate.  Always read the label.