The morning-after pill is an emergency contraceptive. It should only be used when another method fails or in the event of forced sexual intercourse when there is no other possibility of avoiding an unwanted pregnancy.
This medication has side effects that are also unwanted and should not be used multiple times, even less to prevent pregnancy frequently. Do you want to know why?
In this FastlyHealarticle, you will find the answers you need and truly understand the long-term consequences of the morning-after pill.
Table of Contents
How the morning after pill works
The most commonly used morning-after pill is made up of 1.5 mg levonorgestrel. It is usually taken as a single dose for emergency contraception. This means that its use is only recommended in the event of the failure of another contraceptive method or a case of abuse or forced sexual intercourse.
Taking the pill as soon as possible is more likely to have the expected effect. It is suggested that it should be taken between 12 and 72 hours after intercourse.
The way the morning-after pill prevents pregnancy occurs at different levels:
- It makes the mucus in the cervix thicker, making it difficult for sperm to ascend.
- It contains or delays ovulation.
Regarding this last point, it has been proven that its effect on ovulation is more effective if it is ingested two days before it. In women who have regular menstruation, this usually occurs on day 14 after the period comes down (day 14 of the menstrual cycle).
This is because this medication “fools the body”: it makes it believe that ovulation has already occurred.
Long-term effects and consequences of the morning after pill
The morning-after pill is a synthetic hormone. That is, it is an artificial substance that claims to resemble the hormones produced in the female body, but the dose used is much higher than the one usually secreted in your body, that is, for this reason, the short and long-term adverse effects are typically significant and not at all desirable. These tend to be seen more frequently and critically when the medication is taken repeatedly.
Ovary function is impaired.
Although it is precisely desired that the ovary does not produce eggs, the morning after the pill causes the hormonal signals emitted by the ovary to be altered entirely, this affects numerous structures in the body.
Menstruation is disturbed
Because the ovary does not exert its normal function in controlling menstruation, the uterus does not shed its most superficial layer as it always does.
This can cause menstruation to be delayed, early, or even change the characteristics of the bleeding. In the following article, we answer the question: ” How long does the morning-after pill delay menstruation? “
The effects of menstruation can be momentary but can also last longer, especially if you repeatedly take this medication.
In some cases where ovulation has already occurred, it can lead to an ectopic pregnancy. When an egg and a sperm unite, they form an embryo implanted in the uterus. If you ingest levonorgestrel, you can alter the conditions of the uterus and Eustachian tubes, causing the source to nest in a different place than usual. This is an ectopic pregnancy.
It is a difficult situation since it can endanger your life. The symptoms of ectopic pregnancy are:
- Pain in the lower belly area.
- Scanty brownish vaginal bleeding.
- General discomfort.
When you take the pill the next day, you may notice that the breasts become more sensitive and even painful.
It has been proven that if you ingest high doses of synthetic hormones, there is a greater chance of developing breast cancer.
Increase circulating toxins
The morning after pill has a high dose of synthetic hormone, which causes the body’s elimination systems to be overloaded: liver, kidneys, skin, digestive system. Then, the most varied symptoms appear, such as:
- Migraines: they can start or increase the number and frequency of them.
- Gastroesophageal reflux.
- Changes in bowel movements: diarrhea or constipation.
As I have mentioned, the liver can be overloaded in its work with this drug, even more so if your habits are not entirely healthy. This is more likely if you regularly eat processed foods, excess meat, flour, dairy, vegetable oils, alcohol, tobacco, etc.
Repeated intake of hormonal medication can cause you to suffer from major vascular problems. It can cause inflammation in the blood vessels, high blood pressure, and thromboembolism, the formation of blood clots within veins and arteries.
These clots can break loose from where they form and become emboli. Emboli can block other smaller arteries, for example, those in the brain (causing a stroke) or the lungs (causing a severe case of pulmonary embolism).
If levonorgestrel is ingested during pregnancy, there is a significant risk of the fetus suffering from fetal malformations since it is a teratogenic medication. That is, it causes alterations in the formation of organs. This is more serious, especially in the first weeks when the woman is not aware that she is pregnant.
This worsens if other teratogens, such as alcohol, for example, are also involved.
How long the side effects of the morning after pill last
When you take a levonorgestrel birth control pill, it must be absorbed into your digestive system and passed to the liver, where it becomes active. After three hours of taking the medication, the circulating level of this medication is already at a maximum. That is, at that moment, it is already traveling through your body and exerting its action.
For approximately 43 hours, this drug will continue to circulate through your body, of course to a lesser extent. At first, there will be a lot of levonorgestrel and, less and less as the hours go by. Some of the adverse effects I mentioned may appear during that time, but others take longer to appear.
When you take the pill for the next day many times, the adverse effects can add up and be worse and worse as your body becomes intoxicated.
What happens if I take the morning after pill multiple times
The morning after pill is designed to be taken only once in an emergency. Even in that case, it can generate adverse effects since a foreign substance is introduced with an essential impact on your body.
When you take the morning-after pill in excess, the side effects multiply, and those more severe and complicated to solve may appear, which can have severe consequences for your body.
That is why I advise you that if you have used the morning after pill on more than one occasion, you should go to one or a professional so that they can guide you in choosing a more effective and less risky method to prevent pregnancy.
On the other hand, remember: the morning after pill does not prevent sexually transmitted diseases like HIV, hepatitis, gonorrhea, etc. Only the condom does.
If you have persistent symptoms after taking the morning-after pill, I advise you to promptly see your doctor or trusted doctor.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to the Long-term consequences of the morning-after pill, we recommend that you enter our category of the Female reproductive system.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.