The Morning After Pill Is More Popular Than Ever: 5 Things Every Woman Needs to Know

Health Check 27

Birth Control PillToday's eye-opening statistic: One in nine women have used the morning after pill. New data has been released that the use of emergency contraception is on the rise. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 11 percent of sexually experienced women between 15 and 44 said they've used the morning after pill between 2006 and 2010. This is compared to 4 percent in 2002. Well, hello there, awareness. It's nice to see you've spread across America.

The most interesting part to me? Research shows more educated women are most likely to use it, and heck, I'm happy that's true. There's no excuse not to know what contraception options are on the market. Whether you have a college education or not, take this chance to educate yourself with these 5 need-to-know facts on emergency contraception:

1. The morning after pill can be purchased at any pharmacy: As long as you are above the age of 18, you can buy the pill with a photo ID at any local pharmacy. It will cost you anywhere from $10 to $70.

2. There can be side effects: I know many women who have experienced extreme nausea from taking the pill. Aside from nausea, throwing up, breast tenderness, dizziness, headaches, and irregular bleeding are other potential side effects.

3. You have five days: This was interesting to me, as I've always been told you have three. According to Planned Parenthood, the pill can reduce the risk of pregnancy for up to 120 hours after unprotected intercourse.

4. It works: The pill can reduce the risk of pregnancy by 89 percent when you take it within the first 72 hours of unprotected intercourse. As time goes on, the hormone becomes less effective.

5. The morning after pill doesn't protect you from STDs: Yes, the pill can prevent unwanted pregnancy, but once you've come into contact with an infected partner -- that's it. The only way to 100 percent protect yourself from STDs is to use condoms.

What do you think about the morning after pill? Do any of these facts surprise you?


Image via nateONE/Flickr

birth control, sex life


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

mommy... mommyof5cutties

The morning after pill only works to block ovulation... if you have already ovulated it will not prevent implantation!!! Huge misconception!!!! (No pun intended)

bills... billsfan1104

Just my opinion, I do not believe the morning after pill should be given out over the counter. I am also against the pill anyway. I do not think it should be banned, but I also don't think it's a good thing either.

mommy... mommyof5cutties

The other misconception is that it is an abortion pill... it is not... it will not stop a pregnancy already destined. That's the only reason I don't have quarrels about it except many are poorly educated on it. It was hard for me to get facts. It took me calling several pharmacists to get the facts and had to reference the internet for the questions that couldn't be answered.

EmmaF... EmmaFromEire

@mommyof5cuties some also cause the uterine lining to shed, an infinitely better choice than the ones that just block ovulation! You're right about the misconception of it being an 'abortion pill' though. It's not, and no amount of decrying it will ever make it so!

handy... handy0318

The only way to 100 percent protect yourself from STDs is to use condoms.

No...while condoms will protect against STD's the protection is by no means 100%.  Better than not using them, yes, but there is no such thing as 100% protection against either STDs or pregnancy other than abstinence. 

Let's make sure we're sharing correct information, especially about a subject this important.

nonmember avatar kat

A common misconception among younger women/teens is that it's okay to use this as regular birth control if they're not engaging in sexual activity "often" because it's "not worth it" to be on birth control for something that doesn't happen frequently. It won't kill or anything, but many young women are unaware just how out-of-whack their hormones can be thrown.

mande... manderspanders

@Handy... you are so right!  I believe both herpes and HPV can be spread regardless of using condoms... although the risk is reduced, both viruses are transmitted via skin to skin contact and condoms may not cover the entire "infected" area.

As for emergency contraception, I'd rather have women using this than getting an abortion.

Tina Harden Stephens

So billsfan1104 what do you suggest people use for birth control? The rhythm method? I would rather see someone on the pill or using the MAP than have an unwanted child brought into the world. There are also those of us who take the pill for medical reasons that have nothing to do with BC, so I assume you would rather see that done away with as well? I just see people like you and shake my head and hope that people with common sense and a rational and educated mind are able to keep things like this available for women today.

Julie Winkler

glad to see the comments are not loaded with folks saying how evil the MAP is because it causes abortion...I was concerned they might be.  There is a great website called ASAP Science that has a video explaing how the MAP was very interesting. three cheers for the many BC options available to us today!


ToolA... ToolArmy066

I don't believe anything from planned parenthood, just sayin..........

1-10 of 27 comments 123 Last