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The Emergency Contraception Website - Your website for the "Morning After"

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About...

Risk of Pregnancy

Will women stop using other forms of birth control if emergency contraception is really easy
to get?


Emergency contraception is designed to give you a second chance to prevent pregnancy after sex if your birth control fails (like the condom breaks), you didn’t use contraception, or you were made to have sex against your will. And studies show that, on average, women understand this.


To test this question, researchers gave women emergency contraceptive pills (also known as "morning after pills" or "day after pills") to keep at home just in case they needed them. They found that the women who got emergency contraception in advance did not stop using their regular kind of birth control. That’s not very surprising when you consider that any contraceptive you use before or during sex is more effective than emergency contraceptive pills.


There are other reasons why it wouldn’t make sense for you to use emergency contraception as your main protection against pregnancy. Even though emergency contraceptive pills have no serious or long-term side effects, some women feel sick to their stomach or throw up after taking them. You might also feel tired, get a headache, or have irregular bleeding after taking emergency contraceptive pills. And emergency contraception usually costs more than most other birth control methods.


Some people have also asked if a man would be less likely to use a condom if he knew a woman could keep from getting pregnant by using emergency contraception instead. Researchers studied this question, too, and found that the answer on average is no. Click here for more information.


A thorough and up-to-date academic review of the medical and social science literature on emergency contraception, including studies about how access to emergency contraceptive pills might affect use of regular birth control, is available here .

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This website is operated by the Office of Population Research at Princeton University and by the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals and has no connection with any pharmaceutical company or for-profit organization.

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