Emergency contraception is an effective option for preventing pregnancy after unprotected sex, but it isn't as effective as other methods of contraception and isn't recommended for routine use. The morning-after pill also doesn't offer protection from sexually transmitted infections.

An estimated 1 to 2 women will become pregnant out of 100 women who have unprotected sex one time and correctly use the morning-after pill.

The morning-after pill isn't appropriate for everyone. Tell your health care provider if:

  • You're allergic to any component of the morning-after pill
  • You're taking certain medications that may decrease the effectiveness of the morning-after pill, such as barbiturates or St. John's wort
  • You're breast-feeding (Plan B One-Step and Next Choice can be used during breast-feeding, but Ella isn't recommended)

In addition, make sure you're not pregnant before using Ella. The effects of Ella on a developing baby are unknown. However, if you're already pregnant when you take Plan B One-Step or Next Choice, the treatment will simply be ineffective and won't harm the developing baby.

Side effects of the morning-after pill typically last only a few days and may include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Breast tenderness
  • Bleeding between periods or heavier menstrual bleeding
  • Lower abdominal pain or cramps
  • Diarrhea
Jun. 28, 2013