Morning-After Pill vs. Abortion Pill - Pregnancy Center Plus
Morning-After Pill vs Abortion Pill

Morning-After Pill vs. Abortion Pill

It’s smart to look for information and research before taking or considering taking the morning-after pill or the abortion pill. It’s also important to ask questions before taking any medication.

The morning-after pill is considered emergency contraception and taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex or after their method of contraception has failed. Women take abortion pills to end their confirmed pregnancy.

What is the Abortion Pill?

A chemical abortion is a procedure that uses medication to end a pregnancy. The abortion pill also known as RU-486, (mifepristone) is used in a regimen with another prescription medicine called misoprostol, to end an early pregnancy. Early pregnancy is defined as less than 70 days (10 weeks) since your last menstrual period began. Mifepristone is not approved for ending pregnancies that are further along. Read more about the Abortion Pill.

The Morning-After Pill
The morning after pill prevents ovulation and fertilization. It also prevents an embryo from implanting in the uterus, causing an early abortion. (This may be an essential concern if you have a personal or religious belief against this.)

Most Common Morning-after Pills
Both of these medications are considered emergency contraception, but there are key
differences. Plan B contains levonorgestrel while Ella contains ulipristal.

1.Plan B One Step® (Levonorgestrel) 
Levonorgestrel is a progestin-only medication, similar to what’s in regular birth control but at a much higher dose. It can be taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex. The effectiveness is better the sooner it is taken. Plan B is available without a prescription or age restriction; it can be bought over the counter.
There is also a generic form.

2.Ella® (Ulipristal acetate)
Ulipristal acetate delays or prevents ovulation by suppressing the progestin hormone. If an egg has been fertilized, Ella makes it difficult for the embryo to implant in the uterus. It can be taken up to 5 days after unprotected sex. It requires a prescription from a doctor. Make sure to speak with your medical professional about the effectiveness if you are overweight or have a BMI of over 30 since it can affect the results. Medications can also affect how the pill works.
What are the Side Effects of the Morning-after Pill? 
Some of the side effects are mild, and some are potentially severe. It’s essential to contact a
medical professional if you experience severe side effects or side effects that worsen or don’t
go away. 

Side-effects are: 


Nausea and vomiting 

Breast tenderness 

Abdominal pain and cramping


Changes in vaginal bleeding 


When to seek immediate medical attention: 

  • Severe abdominal pain 3-5 weeks after you take Levonorgestrel. This pain could signify an ectopic pregnancy, which is a medical emergency. 
  • Allergic reaction after taking Levonorgestrel is also a medical emergency. Signs include itching, rash, swelling of face/tongue/throat, and trouble breathing. If your period doesn’t start within three weeks, take a pregnancy test to ensure you’re not pregnant.  

Did You Know?

  • The morning-after pill triples the risk of ectopic pregnancies, a life-threatening condition if left undetected.
  • The morning-after pill fails 1 in 10 times.
  • The morning-after pill is labeled a Group 1 Carcinogen, the same cancer risk as cigarettes and asbestos.
  • The morning-after pill does not protect against STIs.

Your reproductive health is important to us. We are here for free, non-judgmental pregnancy counseling. Make a free, confidential appointment at the link at the top of the page.

Mayo Clinic

Posted on July 18, 2022 View the blog

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This website is intended for general education purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional and/or medical advice. We do not offer, recommend or refer for abortions or abortifacients.

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