Morning after pills, also known as Emergency Contraceptive pills (ECPs), are hormone based drugs which help to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse. They contain a progestin alone, or a progestin and an estrogen together which are hormones like the natural hormones progesterone and estrogen in a woman’s body. They work primarily by preventing or delaying the release of eggs from the ovaries (ovulation) which would otherwise be fertilized leading to pregnancy. They do not work if a woman is already pregnant.
They should be taken immediately as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse. They can prevent pregnancy when taken up to 5 days after. They are also used in instances of rape and anticipated failure of any other birth control methods currently used.
They are not 100% effective in that about 1 to 2 percent of sexually active women of reproductive age may become pregnant after using these pills correctly
Taking ECPs prevents pregnancy only from acts of sex that took place in the 5 days before while taking them before engaging in unprotected sex will not protect a woman from pregnancy, not even on the next day. To stay protected from pregnancy, women must begin to use another contraceptive method at once. That said, ECPs do not delay return of fertility (ability to become pregnant) after taking one dose
Side effects include;
Changes in bleeding patterns for example irregular bleeding for 1–2 days after taking ECPs or monthly bleeding that may start earlier or later than expected.
A week after taking ECPs, one might experience; headache, fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea (feeling like vomiting), breast pain or dizziness
Keep in mind that not everyone will experience the same side effects, due to individual genetic differences