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Should I Take the Morning After Pill?

Ask These Questions


The morning after-pill is not a simple answer to a simple question.  Prior to taking this pill, ask these questions:

  • Am I already pregnant from a previous sexual experience?
  • Has this drug been adequately tested for short and long-term side effects?
  • What are the effects of this drug when interacting with other medications?

Understanding the way the morning-after pill works and its side effects is a step that helps you make a healthy decision for your body.


Only 8 out of 100 women will become pregnant after a single act of intercourse in mid-cycle (when ovulation occurs).  By taking emergency contraception before knowing you are pregnant, you may be putting yourself at risk for no reason.


Plan B One-Step™ is intended to prevent pregnancy after known or suspected contraceptive failure, unprotected intercourse or forced sex.  It is not the same as RU-486, a medication abortion pill.  

Plan B One-Step™ consists of one pill taken within 72 hours of sex.

If your period is more than a week late, you may be pregnant from a prior sexual encounter.  Plan B One-Step should not be taken during pregnancy nor used as a routine form of birth control.

There is evidence that Plan B One-Step™ use may increase the risk for ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, a potentially life-threatening condition. Women who have sever abdominal pain may have an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, and should get immediate medical help.


ella® is an FDA-approved emergency contraceptive for use within 5 days of unprotected sex or contraceptive failure.  Pregnancy from a previous sexual encounter should be ruled out before taking ella®.  It is to be used only once during a menstrual cycle.

Women who experience abdominal pain three to five weeks after using ella should be evaluated right away for an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy. Much is unknown about the drug, including its effect on worn who are under 18 or over 35 years of age, taking other hormonal contraception, pregnant from a previous encounter, taking ella® repeatedly during the same cycle or breastfeeding.

Side effects of emergency contraception may include:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal pain


This method uses birth control pills (containing both estrogen and progestin hormones) taken in much higher concentrations than found in normal daily dose.

Adverse effects associated with methods using combination pills include blood clots, stroke and heart attack.


Our centers offers peer counseling and accurate information about all pregnancy options; however we do not offer or refer for abortion services.

Source:  All Information from, “Before You Decide” Brochure; CareNet Care Net, 44180 Riverside Parkway Suite 200, Lansdowne, Virginia 20176 , Phone: 703.554.8734, Fax: 703.554.8735,

210 W. Green St.
Ithaca, NY 14850
4 Church St.
Cortland, NY 13045

Contact Us Ithaca: 607-273-4673
Cortland: 607-753-3909

Hours of Operation *Both centers are closed Saturday and Sunday Ithaca Pregnancy Center
Mon-Fri: 10-5pm

Cortland Pregnancy Center
Mon-Fri: 10-4pm