Whether you missed a pill, had unprotected sex, or a condom let you down when it broke during sex, emergency contraceptive pills are your best chance at preventing unwanted pregnancy. Commonly known as ‘the morning after pill’ for exactly that reason; they most effectively prevent pregnancy the sooner they’re taken post-coitus (i.e. the morning after > the evening after).

But what happens when the unexpected happens more than you expect? How often can you use the morning after pill? Can the morning after pill replace other forms of contraception? And, how does the morning after pill affect your period? Let’s find out.

In Australia, there are two types of emergency contraceptive pills:

(1) Levonorgestrel, branded as Postinor-1, Postinor-2, NorLevo, NorLevo-1, Levonelle-1, Levonelle-2, Postella-1 and Postrelle-1. Levonorgestrel is estimated to be 85% effective when taken within a 72-hour window.

(2) Ulipristal Acetate branded as EllaOne. Ulipristal is effective when taken up to 5 days post sex.

Emergency contraception works by delaying or preventing ovulation, stopping the sperm from fertilising an egg, and preventing a fertilised egg from implanting on the womb. The sooner an emergency contraceptive pill is taken, the higher the chance of preventing a little human arrival in nine months’ time – it’s as simple as that.

There is no limit to the number of times you can take the morning after pill. You can safely take it as often as necessary without experiencing diminished effectiveness or long-term side effects. Just remember that the morning after pill should only be used for emergencies and never become a replacement for regular contraception methods, like the pill, IUD, implant or NuvaRing.

The reason emergency contraception shouldn’t replace regular contraception is due to it being less effective. Plus, it also carries a higher price tag, and to be honest – who needs that? Why pay a premium for a product that isn’t as likely to deliver the result you’re hoping for? Then there’s the side effects of nausea and bleeding between periods that we can all agree life is more fun without. And, to burst one more bubble, the morning after pill can interfere with your period, especially when taken more than once during one cycle.

So, while we’re totally here for multiple morning after pill usage when necessary, we’d suggest chatting to a Youly expert if you find yourself rushing out for emergency contraception more often than you think is normal.

This blog is designed to be informative and educational. It is not intended to provide specific medical advice or replace advice from your medical practitioner.