How long after having intercourse can I take the emergency contraception?

Intercourse activities can take place in the heat of the moment and hence the cases of unplanned and unprotected intercourse are no less in the world. When you buy Plan B or similar emergency contraceptive, it effectively prevents the implantation in your body, thereby preventing an unwanted pregnancy despite having unprotected sexual intercourse. The sooner the pill is consumed, the better effectiveness will it show. And hence women are suggested to use it at the earliest after having an unprotected intercourse.

The pill is typically administered in following cases:

  • Missed your birth control
  • Torn condom
  • The condom has slipped out of place
  • The absence of a vaginal ring
  • Forced intercourse

Though emergency contraceptive is often known as the morning after pill, it can be administered orally with water up to 5 days after having the unprotected intercourse.

How does the emergency contraceptive work?

Implantation is the process wherein a fertilized egg gets embedded in the uterine wall. This process may occur anywhere between 6-8 days after conception. When you indulge in the sexual intercourse activity, the conception may take place within 5 days.

The hormonal elements present in the emergency contraceptive make hormonal changes in the woman’s body and inhibit the egg implantation into the uterus. The pill works mainly by delaying the release of an egg or ovulation. Since the implantation takes place after 6-8 days, the pill has to be taken before the said period. Most of the elements used in the pill are the ones in the regular birth control pills.

When should you not take the emergency contraceptive?

The pill cannot be taken if the woman has discovered that she is already pregnant or has crossed 5 days after the intercourse. The pill does not abort the pregnancy but prevents it from the conception.

Also, the pill must not be confused with the other methods of birth control/contraceptives which are to be taken before or during the sexual intercourse. When you buy Ovral or similar birth control medications, they help prevent pregnancy before the intercourse. The emergency contraceptive does not work if taken before intercourse.

What can be done if you have had intercourse and crossed the 5th day

If the woman happens to be late for the emergency contraceptive, the chances of her getting pregnant are high. It is advised that you confirm your pregnancy if you have crossed the 5th day after the intercourse and not taken any medical solution to prevent the pregnancy.

Once confirmed, you can buy abortion pills to terminate the unplanned and unwanted pregnancy. The pills contain a drug combination of Mifepristone and Misoprostol which together end an unwanted pregnancy up to 8-10 weeks.

Plan B is a reliable method of pregnancy prevention, you only need to follow the instructions given and take the pill at the earliest. To avoid any such circumstances of unwanted pregnancy and unprotected intercourse in the future, buy birth control pills and administer them regularly.