The morning-after pill is a type of contraceptive pill and is sometimes called the emergency pill (it is not an abortion pill, as is sometimes thought). If you have forgotten the contraceptive pill ('the pill') for 2 consecutive days, if you have had unprotected sexual intercourse, or if the condom is torn, the morning-after pill can help prevent pregnancy.
Forgotten contraceptive pill
If you forget the pill 1 time, take that pill as yet. Take the next pill at the normal time and finish the strip. As long as you take the forgotten pill within 12 hours after the time you have to take the next pill, you are protected against pregnancy. If you have forgotten the pill for 2 consecutive days, take both pills as soon as possible, within 12 hours after the time that you had to take the second pill. You are then still protected against a pregnancy. Do not wait longer than 12 hours, because then protection is no longer reliable. What you have to do then depends on the week in which you forgot the pills.
If you have forgotten 2 (or more) pills in the first week of the pill strip
If you have forgotten 2 or 3 pills in the second week of the pill strip
If you have forgotten 4 or more pills in the second week of the pill strip
You have forgotten 2 or 3 pills in the third week of the pill strip
How does the morning-after pill work?
The morning-after pill contains a hormone (levonorgestrel) that prevents the implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus. The sooner you take the morning-after pill the better, but you must take the pill within 72 hours after unprotected sex (or after tearing the condom or when the contraceptive pill no longer provides protection).
You can become sick from the morning-after pill. Some women have to vomit or temporarily suffer from headaches or tense breasts. These side effects disappear after two days.
If you think you are already pregnant, do a pregnancy test first. If you are already pregnant, there is no point in taking the morning-after pill.
The morning-after pill is not an abortion pill