What you can expect

By Mayo Clinic Staff

To use the morning-after pill:

  • Follow the morning-after pill's instructions. If you use Next Choice, take one Next Choice pill as soon as possible and less than 72 hours after unprotected sex. Take the second Next Choice pill 12 hours later. If you use Plan B One-Step, take one Plan B One-Step pill as soon as possible and less than 72 hours after unprotected sex. If you use Ella, take one Ella pill as soon as possible and less than 120 hours after unprotected sex. Consider taking a pain reliever, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), at the same time.
  • If you vomit within two hours after taking the morning-after pill, contact your health care provider to discuss whether to repeat the dose.
  • Don't have sex until you start another method of birth control. The morning-after pill doesn't offer lasting protection from pregnancy. If you have unprotected sex in the days and weeks after taking the morning-after pill, you're at risk of becoming pregnant. Be sure to begin using or resume use of birth control.

Using the morning-after pill may delay your period by up to one week. If your period is more than one week late, take a pregnancy test.

If you have bleeding or spotting that lasts longer than a week or develop severe lower abdominal pain three to five weeks after taking the morning-after pill, contact your health care provider. These may be signs or symptoms of a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy — when the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube.

Jun. 28, 2013