Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About...
Is there a limit to the number of times I can use emergency contraceptive pills?
There are no safety concerns about using progestin-only emergency contraceptive pills (like Plan B One-Step, Next Choice and Levonorgestrel Tablets) more than once. Progestin-only emergency contraception is effective for preventing pregnancy after sex each time you use it. The label for ella (ulipristal acetate) states that ella should not be used more than once in the same cycle. However, a recent study showed that it is safe to take ella repeatedly, although it may not be as effective because most women eventually ovulated.1
If you are sexually active and really want or need to keep from getting pregnant, relying only on emergency contraceptive pills is not as effective as using a birth control method before or during sex, like the pill or condoms. (Find out more about the effectiveness of emergency contraception here.) Emergency contraceptive pills can also have unpleasant side effects, such as making you sick to your stomach.
If you find yourself using emergency contraceptive pills a lot, it might mean that you haven’t yet found a regular method of birth control that works for you. In that case, talk to your health care provider or check out what some of your other options might be here.
A thorough and up-to-date academic review of the medical and social science literature on emergency contraception, including its safety and effectiveness, is available here .
1 Jesam C, Cochon L, Salvatierra AM, Williams A, Kapp N, Levy-Gompel D, Brache V. A prospective, open-label, multicenter study to assess the pharmacodynamics and safety of repeated use of 30 mg ulipristal acetate. Contraception. 2016 ;93:310-16.