Medical drugs used for Emergency Contraception

Mifeprex (mifepristone)

  • Combined with misoprostol can induce miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy
  • 90 % effective
  • Works best in first 12 weeks of pregnancy
  • Causes contractions of the womb, expelling the pregnancy
  • Available in pharmacies all over the U.S.
  • Should not be purchased online
    • Beware of fake abortion pills sold online

Possible side effects to consider:

  • Painful cramps
  • Heavy bleeding (more than normal menstruation)
  • Nnausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Possible birth defects if miscarriage is not successful

Morning after pill

  • Consumption required within a 24-72 hr window after intercourse to be effective
  • Designed to prevent or delay ovulation
  • May interfere with egg fertilization

Risk Involved

  • Is not 100% effective
  • May require more than one visit to the doctor
  • Unsuccessful termination can require surgical procedures that may also lead to infection
  • Can not end a tubal or ectopic pregnancy

May Cause

  • Cramping 
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Stomach pain 
  • Weakness
  • Allergic reaction 
  • Pelvic pain
  • Other adverse effects

Emergency Contraception: Effects vs Side Effects (Morning After Pill)

Plan B One-Step

  • Effects
    • Prevents pregnancy within 72 hrs/3 days after unprotected sex
    • Proven effectives in 7 out of 8 women
    • No prescription needed
  • Side Effects
    • Irregular menstruation
    • Nausea
    • Headache
    • Dizziness
    • Breast tenderness vomiting
    • The use of other drugs can reduce its effectiveness
    • Rapid return of fertility after consuming Plan B One-Step
    • Is not an abortion pill and will not terminate an existing pregnancy

Next Choice

  • Effects
    • To prevent pregnancy first pill should be taken within 72 hours; second pill should be taken 12 hours later
    • No prescription required
  • Side Effects
    • Dysmenorrhea
    • Fatigue
    • Pelvic pain
    • Vomiting
    • Irregular menstruation
    • Other adverse effects

Ella One

  • Effects
    • Prevents pregnancy within 120 hours/5 days after having unprotected sex
    • Prescription required
  • Side Effects
    • Can cause ectopic pregnancy if individual gets pregnant despite taking prescription
    • Headache 
    • Changes in mood
    • Dizziness
    • Vomiting
    • Period pain
    • Muscle, back, pelvic pain
    • Less affective when combined with some other medications


  • Effects
    • Prevents pregnancy if taken within 72 hours/3 days after having unprotected sex
    • No prescription required
  • Side Effects
    • Vomiting
    • Breast pain
    • Dizziness
    • Headache
    • Nausea
    • Menstrual changes
    • Lower stomach pain
    • Tiredness

Copper IUD

  • Effects
    • More than 99% effective
    • Easy insertion and removal
    • Can prevent pregnancy if inserted within 120 hrs/5 days after intercourse
    • Can prevent pregnancy for as long as 3 to 12 years depending on what kind of IUD is chosen
  • Side Effects
    • Irregular periods
    • Spotting between periods
    • Pain when the IUD is inserted
    • Cramping or backaches post IUD insertion
    • Does not protect again STDs
    • Fertility quickly returns following removal of device
    • Device can spontaneously expel from the uterus
    • Infection 


The content on this site is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Use of this website signifies your understanding of and your agreement to these terms.  This center does not offer abortion services or abortion referrals.