How long do the side effects of emergency contraception last?

Are you feeling a bit off after using emergency contraception? Don’t fret! It’s totally normal to experience some side effects. But for how long do these symptoms last? Let’s dive into it and find out!

The Science Behind Emergency Contraception

Emergency contraception, also known as the morning-after pill, is a type of birth control that can prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. This medication contains hormones such as levonorgestrel or ulipristal acetate that work together to delay ovulation or prevent fertilization.

While this method is highly effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies when taken within 72 hours (or up to 120 hours) of intercourse, it may come with some side effects.

Common Side Effects

The good news is that most women who use emergency contraception experience little to no side effects. However, some common ones include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Breast tenderness

Now let’s delve into each symptom and see how long they generally last.


Feeling queasy after taking emergency contraception isn’t uncommon. One possible reason behind nausea could be that hormonal changes caused by the medicine affect your digestive system. While some people might feel sick immediately after using the pill, others may start experiencing nausea later on in the day.

This issue typically resolves itself within two days but don’t worry – there are ways to alleviate symptoms! You could try sipping ginger tea, saltine crackers, over-the-counter anti-nausea medication (with your doctor’s approval), or getting plenty of rest


It won’t happen in every case but if you vomit within two hours of taking an oral contraceptive tablet it will not have been absorbed properly and you’ll need another dose . If you do vomit after a pill then wait for at least two hours and take another one.


Feeling fatigued or excessively tired is another common symptom you might experience after taking emergency contraception. Again, this could be due to hormonal changes that affect your body’s energy levels.

Fortunately, the feeling of exhaustion typically lasts only 1-2 days.


Some women may develop headaches following the use of emergency contraceptives, especially within the first 24 hours .If the headache persists or becomes severe please see your doctor .

Luckily this side effect tends to be mild in nature and goes away on its own as time passes.

Breast Tenderness

Breast tenderness is a benign but annoying side effect experienced by some women who’ve used EC pills.It might feel like a soreness or fullness.Some people find it helpful to apply warm compresses gently onto their breasts during this period others report wearing well fitting supportive undergarments for extra comfort.

Less Common Side Effects

Although less common, other symptoms can occur from using EC :

  • Irregular menstrual bleeding
  • Mood swings
  • Dizziness
  • Abdominal pain

If you are experiencing any unusual symptoms ,check with your doctor right way .

When Should You Expect Your Period?

A topic of concern among many individuals revolves around how ECS tablets influence menstruation.
It’s possible that they delay ovulation (the release of eggs) which means your menstrual cycle will adjust accordingly.Compare it like pressing pause button temporarily!

As an estimate ,most people get their periods about three weeks after taking ECS pills
-don’t count from intercourse date !-. But don’t panic -if period comes earlier /later than anticipated,your cycles should return back on track over next month

Conclusion: It’s Only Temporary

All said and done,the fact is that side effects resulting from morning-after pill usage shouldn’t be a cause for alarm. They will go away soon enough,and generally only last anywhere from two days to a week . Just ensure that you are well informed on the common side effects of emergency contraception and reach out as needed if anything seems concerning.

As with any medication,speak to your healthcare provider if you have concerns over EC use or menstrual cycle changes . Remember prevention is always better than cure ,so consider implementing long-term birth control options like IUDs, implants or hormonal pills based on your doctor’s advice !