Birth control pill: advantages and disadvantages (2023)

Birth control pill: advantages and disadvantages (1)

Do you know the advantages and disadvantages of the contraceptive pill? It is one of the most used contraceptive methods, especially among young women. It is very effective in preventing pregnancy, and it has few side effects. In addition, it is very safe.

However, it is only recommended for use when all other media have failed. But, what advantages and disadvantages does it have? In this special article we are going to explain everything you need to know about morning after pill.

Table of Contents

  • 1 What is the morning after pill
  • 2 When to take it
  • 3 Can it be used as a regular contraceptive?
  • 4 Talking about the effectiveness of the morning after pill
  • 5 Do the medications nullify the effect of the morning-after pill?
  • 6 The dangers of the morning-after pill
    • 6.1 Ectopic pregnancy
    • 6.2 Thromboembolic disease
  • 7 Contraindications
  • 8 Birth control pill: advantages and disadvantages
    • 8.1 Advantages
    • 8.2 Disadvantages
  • 9 Final Tips
  • 10 How much does the morning after pill cost?
  • 11 How do you take the morning after pill?
  • 12 Morning-after pill leaflet
  • 13 What is the emergency contraceptive pill?
  • 14 FAQ
    • 14.1 Can I have unprotected sex after I have taken postday?
    • 14.2 Is it possible to make a homemade morning-after pill?
    • 14.3 Can I take the morning after pill if I am taking daily oral contraceptives?
    • 14.4 Is it possible to take the morning after pill twice in a month?
  • 15 How does the day-after pill work

What is the morning after pill

The morning-after pill or pill is a contraceptive method that lowers the risk of pregnancy by delaying or early ovulation. It can also alter the movement of sperm, preventing them from reaching their destination. Thus, the possibility that an egg will end up fertilizing is greatly reduced.

The active ingredient in most morning-after pills is levonorgestrel, a synthetic steroid that has the same effects as progesterone. However, there are other combined ones, which have progesterone and also estrogens.

It is often thought that it is an abortion pill, although in reality it cannot be considered as such, since works before the egg implants in the uterus. In fact, if implantation has already occurred, the woman will become pregnant even if she takes the morning-after pill. This contraceptive method could generate some changes in the endometrium, hindering the implantation of the fertilized ovum, for this reason there are those who think that it could serve as an abortion pill. But for the moment there is no scientific study to prove it.

When to take it

Birth control pill: advantages and disadvantages (2)

To be really effective, you have to take the morning-after pill within 72 hours of having a full intercourse, being the most advisable to take it as soon as you finish. But don't worry, if you take it in the next three days, the pill will continue to be very effective. Although, yes, you should know that over time it will decrease.

(Video) Debunking top myths about birth control pills | GMA Digital

Your doctor will tell you how much to take, but it will usually be a single pill if it contains 1mg of levonorgestrel. If the drug is presented in two 5mg tablets, take one in the morning and after 12 hours the next.

Can it be used as a regular contraceptive?

Although its health risks are practically non-existent as we will see later, the truth is that it is a contraceptive to use only in case of emergency. This means that it can only be taken when the condom has broken, or when the necessary measures have not been taken to prevent pregnancy.

It is important that you know that the effectiveness of this drug is 95%, while that of the condom is 98%. So, we insist, get the morning after pill only when you really have no choice, and preferably under medical advice.

Talking about the effectiveness of the morning after pill

Now that we've seen what the morning-after pill is, and what dose to take, let's focus on your effectiveness. We have said that it is not as effective as other contraceptive methods, but ... is there anything else to know? Yes.

As we said, it decreases as the days go by. To give us an idea, in the 24 hours after intercourse it would be 95% effective, at 48 hours it would be 85% and at 72 hours it would be 58%. Taking this into account, it is highly advisable to take it the first day, since otherwise the chances of getting pregnant are high, especially if we have already started ovulation.

By the way, you have to take it after intercourse and not before, as it would not help us. If doing so makes you feel bad and you end up vomiting it, you should have another, except if a minimum of 3h has already passed.

In addition, a condom must be used so that the risk of an egg ending up fertilized is very low, almost nil. If you take the contraceptive pill, you have to start a new pack the day after taking the contraceptive; and if what you want is to start taking it, you have to wait for the first day of menstruation. You must follow these same instructions if you use or are going to use the vaginal ring or contraceptive patch. But, in all cases, the use of a condom is highly recommended.

If your period is 3-4 days late, or shows an appearance that it does not usually have, it is preferable to take a pregnancy test. Thus, you leave doubts.

Do the medications nullify the effect of the morning-after pill?

Birth control pill: advantages and disadvantages (3)

There are some that can reduce its effectiveness, and they are the following:

(Video) What you need to know about the oral contraceptive pill

  • Ritonavir
  • Phenytoin
  • Carbamazepine
  • Barbiturates
  • Griseofulvin
  • Rifabutin
  • Rifampicin

You should also keep in mind that the Grass of San Juan, also known by the name of St. John's wort, may reduce effectiveness.

The dangers of the morning-after pill

Although this drug does not usually have adverse effects. In fact, in Spain it began to be marketed in 2001, and until 2013 it had only been reported 20 cases serious adverse reactions, such as ectopic pregnancy and the risk of developing thromboembolic disease.

Ectopic pregnancy

Birth control pill: advantages and disadvantages (4)

Ectopic pregnancy, also known as ectopic pregnancy, occurs when the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, most of the time (up to 98%) in the fallopian tubes. The viability of this type of pregnancies is very low, since it is very common for abortion to occur during the first three months. But, if you manage to get ahead and it is not detected in time, can pose a very high risk to women's health.

Ectopic pregnancy symptoms:

  • Pain in the shoulders and back
  • Nausea and dizziness
  • Vaginal leaks
  • Feeling weak
  • Clammy skin
  • High blood pressure

If you have any of these symptoms, do not hesitate to go to your doctor as soon as possible.

Thromboembolic disease

The formation of a clot within the veins that can reach the lungs causes thromboembolic disease. Women who use hormonal contraceptives may have a 3 times higher risk of developing this disease; On the other hand, if you take a morning-after pill whose active ingredient is levenorgestrel, the risk of suffering from it is very low, so much so that only 20 women out of 100 will suffer it.


Birth control pill: advantages and disadvantages (5)

When we talk about drugs we also have to talk about contraindications. The morning after pill has them, and they must be kept in mind to avoid problems arising. They are as follows:

  • Levenorgestrel allergy
  • Have migraines
  • Being lactose or galactose intolerant
  • Having Crohn's disease, colitis or any other that affects the intestines
  • History of ectopic pregnancy and / or inflammation of the fallopian tubes

Birth control pill: advantages and disadvantages

As a summary, we tell you the pros and cons of this popular contraceptive:

(Video) Side Effects of The Pill | Birth Control


  • It can be used after intercourse.
  • Possibility of continuing to use regular birth control pills.
  • It does not affect long-term fertility.


  • It does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
  • It should be used within 72 hours after sexual intercourse, its effectiveness decreases over time.

Final Tips

Birth control pill: advantages and disadvantages (6)

You should not worry if after taking the drug your menstruation seems to be late or early. These mismatches are totally normal, and passengers, so the following month everything will return to normal.

If in the end you get pregnant, and it is a desired pregnancy, the pill will not affect the embryo. Plus, it won't reduce your milk supply either, so you can go back to drinking it when you consider it. Yes, the anticonceptive pilldoes not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases, so the use of condoms is always recommended.

How much does the morning after pill cost?

This pill has a price of around 20 euros. You can buy it at the pharmacy, although it is worth going to your medical center, since it will be here where they can prescribe it and thanks to this, the amount will be reduced considerably. It never hurts to ask your doctor for advice.

How do you take the morning after pill?

Birth control pill: advantages and disadvantages (7)

As its name suggests, the morning after pill should be taken after unprotected sexual intercourse or when such protection has not worked. The faster it is taken, the better. But still, you don't have to be overwhelmed either. Since we have up to 72 hours after the relationship. If we rely on the statistics, they are clear. If we take it within 24 hours after sexual intercourse, it will be more than 95% effective. At 48 hours, it drops to 85%. Something that is vital to take into account, especially when we are in the days before ovulation.

This medicine can sometimes come in a two-pill container. You will take them 12 hours apart. If only you they sell the single dose, then it will be much easier since you will only take one pill. Remember that it is a single dose and that it is always better to take it as soon as possible to prevent.

Morning-after pill leaflet

When in doubt, it is best to turn to the Morning-after pill leaflet. Only in this way, you will be able to discover everything you need to be much calmer, whether you have taken the medication or are about to do so.

What is the emergency contraceptive pill?

There are people who call it the morning after pill or the emergency contraceptive pill. But as its name suggests, it is only used in an emergency. As long as there is a risk of pregnancy after sexual intercourse. Therefore, it is perfect for preventing an unwanted pregnancy. It should not be confused with the pill as a contraceptive. Since this is used regularly and the emergency pill, only in specific cases. Thanks to components such as Levonorgestrel, it prevents ovulation, but without having a significant impact on the female body.


Birth control pill: advantages and disadvantages (8)

(Video) How do contraceptives work? - NWHunter

Can I have unprotected sex after I have taken postday?

The best thing is not. Again we say again that time must be taken into account so that the post-day pill has the necessary effectiveness. That is why if we have an unprotected relationship, the sooner we will take the pill. If after that and hours later or days, we return to have unprotected relationships, we will not be protected from a pregnancy happening. That is why you can have intercourse but using a condom so that there are no problems.

Is it possible to make a homemade morning-after pill?

As a recommendation, it is best to go to a medical center or your nearest pharmacy. Why? Because they can always advise you much better and will tell you how and which one you have to take. With the topic of medications and more than hormones in this case, it is always preferable not to play with it. You have to think that one morning-after pill equals four of the conventional pill. There have been extreme cases in which in the absence of the morning after pill, the regular ones have been taken. Of course, you have to make sure they contain the right ingredients and grams. Something that we are not always going to know for sure. So, we will continue to opt for the emergency pill and stay much calmer.

Can I take the morning after pill if I am taking daily oral contraceptives?

Even if you are taking oral contraceptives, if you have missed a dose, then you can take the morning after pill. If you take the pill every day, without forgetting any take, then you will not need the pill post-day. But going back to the above, if you have forgotten about your shots, then it is preferable that you opt for the morning after pill. Until the arrival of your menstruation, it is best to use a condom in your relationships and make an appointment with your gynecologist. On many occasions, it is advisable to wait for the new cycle to start taking contraceptives again. Only he will confirm it. A) Yes, when the period comes, we will forget about the possible pregnancy and we will start as usual.

Is it possible to take the morning after pill twice in a month?

Yes, it is possible but it is not recommended. First for the high dose of hormones to which we will be punishing our body and second, because it can lose its effectiveness. The body will get used to it if we take them frequently. Our bodies are wise and it will take a while to completely eliminate the morning-after pill. So it is not surprising that some alterations can be suffered in the menstrual cycle. Something that should not be alarmed but should be taken into account.

How does the day-after pill work

Birth control pill: advantages and disadvantages (9)

The morning after pill contains, among its ingredients, Levonorgestrel 0.75 mg. It will be this compound that acts as a contraceptive barrier. That is, it will inhibit ovulation so it prevents the ovum from being fertilized after unprotected sexual intercourse. That is why it is so necessary to take it as soon as possible.

Once we take the pill, our cycle is disrupted. Since there is no ovulation, menstruation can be altered. This is why delays are common, but not in all cases. As we well know, not all bodies act the same. So, the period can come to you on the right day, or before and after. Remember that we are taking a fairly high amount of hormones.

If already, during the normal cycle we experience changes, when we alter it these will be more noticeable. If the period does not appear two weeks after its due date, then you should take a pregnancy test.

We hope this guide has been useful for you to learn more about this popular contraceptive method.


What are the advantages and disadvantages of birth control pills? ›

They can lessen the pain of menstrual cramps, keep acne under control, and protect against certain cancers. As with all medications, they do have some potential risks and side effects. These include an increased risk of blood clots and a small increase in breast cancer risk.

What are the advantages of the birth control pills? ›

The birth control pill is a safe, simple, and convenient way to prevent pregnancy. It also has other benefits like reducing acne, making your periods lighter and more regular, and easing menstrual cramps.

What are the disadvantages of birth control pills? ›

Combination birth control pills increase the risk of certain conditions, which can be serious. They include: Blood clots in the legs.
  • Breakthrough bleeding or spotting — more common with continuous-dosing or extended-cycle pills.
  • Breast tenderness.
  • Elevated blood pressure.
  • Headaches.
  • Nausea.
  • Bloating.
17 Dec 2020

What are the advantage and advantages of using contraceptives? ›

Contraception allows them to put off having children until their bodies are fully able to support a pregnancy. It can also prevent pregnancy for older people who face pregnancy-related risks. Contraceptive use reduces the need for abortion by preventing unwanted pregnancies.

Is birth control pill safe? ›

Birth control pills are safe for most women. The pill has been available for 60 years, so there is a lot of comfort and experience with its use. A small percentage of women who take the combination (estrogen-containing) birth control pill have an increased risk for developing these rare complications: Blood clots.

Does pill stop periods? ›

Birth control pills

It's possible to delay or prevent your period with extended or continuous use of any combined estrogen-progestin birth control pill. Your doctor can recommend the best pill schedule for you, but generally, you skip the inactive pills in your pill pack and start right away on a new pack.

What are 5 methods of birth control? ›

What birth control options are available?
  • Barrier methods. Examples include male and female condoms, as well as the diaphragm, cervical cap and contraceptive sponge.
  • Short-acting hormonal methods. ...
  • Long-acting hormonal methods. ...
  • Sterilization. ...
  • Spermicide or vaginal gel. ...
  • Fertility awareness methods.

What are the effects of birth control? ›

The most common side effects are spotting or bleeding between periods (this is more common with progestin-only pills), sore breasts, nausea, or headaches. But these usually go away after 2 or 3 months, and they don't happen to everyone who takes the pill. Birth control shouldn't make you feel sick or uncomfortable.

What are the risks and side effects of birth control? ›

What are the side effects of birth control pills?
  • Nausea. Some users experience some mild nausea when first starting birth control pills. ...
  • Breast tenderness or enlargement. ...
  • Headaches. ...
  • Spotting or breakthrough bleeding. ...
  • Missed periods or amenorrhea. ...
  • Weight gain. ...
  • Mood changes. ...
  • Decreased sex drive.

What is the best birth control? ›

The kinds of birth control that work the best to prevent pregnancy are the implant and IUDs — they're also the most convenient to use, and the most foolproof. Other birth control methods, like the pill, ring, patch, and shot, are also really good at preventing pregnancy if you use them perfectly.

What are the advantages of birth? ›

Enhances the baby's brain development: Natural birth helps in increasing the production of proteins in the baby's brain that helps in brain development and brain function. A caesarean section delivery does not prompt the body to release these proteins and thus the baby loses out on this precious benefit.

How long does pill take to work? ›

That means that if your period starts on a Wednesday morning, you can start the pill up to the following Monday morning to be protected right away. If you start at any other time during your menstrual cycle, you'll be protected from pregnancy after 7 days of using the pill.

Is birth control 100% safe? ›

If you use it perfectly, the pill is 99% effective. But people aren't perfect and it's easy to forget or miss pills — so in reality the pill is about 93% effective. That means about 7 out of 100 pill users get pregnant each year.

How do I take my first pill? ›

First Day Start - Take your first pill during the first 24 hours of your menstrual cycle. No back-up contraceptive method is needed when the pill is started the first day of your menses. Sunday Start - Wait until the first Sunday after your menstrual cycle begins to take your first pill.

Does birth control make your boobs bigger? ›

When taking these pills, the level of hormones in your body increase. At these increased levels, these hormones can generate changes in your body, such as a temporary increase in breast size or weight gain. In addition to these changes, some women experience more severe side effects from birth control pills.

When is the best time to take birth control pills morning or night? ›

What is the best time of day to take your pill? Although you can take birth control at any time of day, it is best not to take it on an empty stomach. Dr. Yen recommends taking it before you go to bed or around dinner time (assuming that is when you have your largest meal) in order to avoid nausea.

When should u start birth control? ›

You can start taking birth control pills as soon as you get them — any day of the week, and anytime during your menstrual cycle. But when you'll be protected from pregnancy depends on when you start and the kind of pill you're using. You may need to use a backup birth control method (like condoms) for up to 7 days.

What are the 3 types of birth control pills? ›

Currently, there are three different types available on the market: the combination pill, the progestin-only pill, and the continuous use pill.

What are 10 types of birth control? ›

16 Types of Birth Control and Contraception (2021 Guide)
  • There are more types of birth control than ever. Some forms of contraception are long-lasting; Others are single-use. ...
  • The Pill.
  • Copper IUD.
  • Male Condom.
  • Cervical Mucus Examination.
  • Tubal Ligation.
4 Oct 2019

What is class 10 birth control? ›

Women could use items like the contraceptive sponge, diaphragm, cervical shield or cervical cap to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg. The barrier method in males involves the use of male condoms.

How does the pill work? ›

The birth control pill works by stopping sperm from joining with an egg. When sperm joins with an egg it's called fertilization. The hormones in the pill safely stop ovulation. No ovulation means there's no egg for sperm to fertilize, so pregnancy can't happen.

What happens after taking i pill? ›

If used responsibly, it is typically harmless but may lead to adverse effects such as nausea, tiredness, and stomach cramps in some cases. I-Pill should be taken within 24/72 hours post intercourse to be effective and should not be mistaken for an abortion-inducing drug.

What happens when you stop the pill? ›

Your periods may be irregular when you first come off the pill, and you should allow up to 3 months for your natural menstrual cycle to fully re-establish itself. This is because the pill contains the hormones that stop the release of an egg (ovulation) each month.

Which birth control pill is safer? ›

What is the safest contraception pill? Generally, low-dose birth control pills, be it combination or progestin-only minipill, are considered safest as they are associated with the lowest risk of causing blood clots.

How do you use birth control pills? ›

The standard way to take the pill is to take 1 every day for 21 days, then have a break for 7 days, and during this week you have a bleed like a period. You start taking the pill again after 7 days.

Should I take birth control? ›

Should I take birth control? If you are someone who is heterosexually sexually active and wants to prevent unintended pregnancy, birth control is a great option. Birth control also helps regulate irregular periods and manage PMS symptoms such as cramps, headaches, and acne.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of natural birth? ›

"Natural Birth" Pros and Cons
  • May have a faster recovery after birth.
  • Potential for less vaginal tearing.
  • Some people may have a shorter pushing time.
  • Ability to change birthing positions, including walking around.
  • Decreased risk of needing risky interventions.
  • Some people feel a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.
9 Nov 2021

What are the advantages and disadvantages of birth centers? ›

12 Pros And 8 Cons Of Choosing A Birthing Center
  • 20/20 Pro: Mothers Are Encouraged To Eat During Labor.
  • 19/20 Pro: Warm And Homey Environment.
  • 18/20 Con: Limited Stay Time.
  • 17/20 Pro: Midwives Are Present During All The Phases Of Labor.
  • 16/20 Pro: Water Births Are Available.
  • 15/20 Con: Mom May Go To The Hospital Anyway.
26 Mar 2018

What are 3 advantages of home births? ›

Pros of a home birth

You have more control over the experience. You'll give birth in a familiar setting. You'll have a very high chance of a vaginal birth. You can avoid possibly unnecessary medical interventions.

What are the first side effects of birth control? ›

Intermittent spotting and a small amount of irregular bleeding are very common in women who are first starting the birth control pill. The reason we've singled out this side effect is because if it catches you off guard, it can be very alarming.

What are three disadvantages of family planning? ›

Effects of contraceptive use
  • Irregular bleeding.
  • Breast tenderness.
  • Change in appetite or weight gain:
  • Depression.
  • Hair loss or increased hair on face or body.
  • Headache/migraine.
  • Nausea.
  • Change in sexual desire.
25 Feb 2022


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