Morning After Pill and Emergency Contraception

The morning after pill is a form of emergency contraception for when you have either engaged in unprotected sex or believe that your usual form of contraception may have failed. It works by introducing estrogen and progestin into your body. These are the same hormones that are used in traditional birth control pills, but in the morning after pill they are present in a higher concentration.

If you are considering the morning after pill, please call 212-308-4988 or contact us today to schedule an appointment and discuss your birth control options with a certified gynecologist.

What Does the Morning After Pill Do?

The Morning After Pill, otherwise known as emergency contraception, prevents pregnancy by delaying ovulation with the same hormones as regular birth control pills, but in a much higher dosage. Delaying ovulation inhibits the ability of your ovaries to release an egg, meaning that fertilization and pregnancy cannot occur. If ovulation has already taken place or if too much time has passed since intercourse (over 72 hours), data suggests that the morning after pill is unlikely to be effective.

Taking the Morning after Pill as Emergency Contraception

Emergency contraception should be taken within 72 hours of sexual intercourse. It is taken in two doses; the first dose is taken immediately and the second 12 hours later. The morning after pill is still effective even if you are already taking birth control pills and miss a dose. However, the Morning After Pill is not intended to be a primary form of birth control and should only be taken as a back up or in case of ‘emergency’ as indicated by the name.
It is important to note that the morning after pill does not terminate established pregnancies and is not a form of abortion.

 The Effectiveness of Emergency Contraception

The effectiveness of the Morning After Pill is relative to when it is taken, and has a higher rate of preventing pregnancy the sooner it is taken For instance, Plan B One Step is 95 percent effective when taken within 24 hours of sexual intercourse – but this number dips to 89 percent after 72 hours have passed.
Additionally, some medications may cause side effects if taken with the morning after pill, and St. John’s Wort, barbiturates, and other substances can decrease its effectiveness.

A diaphragm is a soft, rubber cap-shaped device which works as a barrier to prevent a man’s sperm from entering a woman’s uterus. In order to be fully effective, it must be used with a spermicidal cream or jelly.

After spermicide is applied, the diaphragm can be inserted in the vagina up to one hour before intercourse, and must remain in place for at least six hours after intercourse. If sex is to be had again within the six hours, more spermicide must be added to the already in place diaphragm. To remove the diaphragm, the woman pulls it out gently.

With proper use, the diaphragm is about 90% effective. The diaphragm or the spermicide used alone is not very effective.

Diaphragms must be properly fit and checked by a health care provider at least once a year. If the diaphragm does not fit properly, it will not be effective in preventing pregnancy. Additionally, the owner must check the diaphragm by running water through it to see if any tiny holes have developed. If water can leak through, then it is not effective.

If you’re interested in learning more about the diaphragm, please watch this video.

The Intrauterine Device (IUD) is a Small, “T-shaped” device inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. The IUD is inserted into the uterus by a health care provider, where once in place, it can remain there for several years.

IUDs are one of the most effective forms of birth control available. Less than 1 out of 100 women will get pregnant each year if they use the ParaGard or the Mirena IUD. Women who have uterine, fallopian, ovarian, cervical or vaginal irregularities may not use this form of contraception.

In some cases, the IUD may present certain problems. Insertion can cause painful menstrual cramps, and women with an IUD may experience more severe menstrual cramps, and longer and heavier periods. Pain relievers can usually reduce bleeding, cramping, and other discomforts. If they are severe and do not seem to lessen, tell your health care provider.

Women with an IUD may be more prone to certain infections.

The risk of pregnancy while using a ParaGard or Mirena IUD is very low. But if the IUD slips out of place, pregnancy can happen. If you become pregnant, have the IUD removed as soon as you find out that you are pregnant. It’s important to pay attention to any symptoms you might have after starting the IUD and to monitor your body’s reaction during the use of it.

For more information on the use and benefits of the IUD, please watch this video.

Eastside Gynecology offers our patients Tubal ligation as one form of permanent birth control. It is a laparoscopic surgery and a fairly simple procedure. Most women stay home from work the next day and are asked to avoid heavy lifting and exercise for 2 weeks. Through a small incision, our surgeon will use an instrument to burn the fallopian tubes which creates a permanent blockage of the tubes.

If a woman is absolutely positive that they do not want to become pregnant in the future, then the effectiveness of this procedure is 100%. If you are considering tubal ligation, please call us at Eastside Gynecology for an in-depth consultation.


Essure is an alternative to tubal ligation. It involves the insertion of soft, flexible micro-inserts that block the Fallopian tubes and prevent sperm from reaching and fertilizing eggs. The ovaries will still produce eggs, but they will not be able to reach the uterus. Instead, they will be safely reabsorbed into the abdomen.

This method is irreversible and can only be performed on patients who are sure they do not want to become pregnant in the future. Permanent birth control is 100% effective three months after the insertion. Alternate methods of birth control are necessary until the three months have elapsed.

Watch this video on Essure to find out more about permanent birth control.

The birth control pill is not appropriate for every woman and medical screening is required.

The pill comes is different dosages and prescriptions. Once the medical screening is passed, the woman will be given the proper prescription. It is important to follow the prescription instructions precisely so that the pill is effective. While the pill is an effective measure in preventing pregnancy, it does not provide protection against the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

If you’d like to know more about birth control pills, please enjoy this video.

Keep in Mind

If you think you need emergency contraception or you want to learn more, schedule an appointment with Eastside Gynecology by calling 212-308-4988 or filling out a contact form.

Side effects from the morning after pill will normally only last a few days and you may not experience any of them. Every woman is different and will have varying reactions, but most are resolved within 24 hours.
Learn more about other forms of contraception offered at Eastside Gynecology including:
•    The birth control pill
•    Diaphragm
•    IUD
•    Emergency Contraception – Morning After Pill.