Font Size

Emergency Contraception (cont.)

When to Call the Doctor after Emergency Contraception

If you experience severe abdominal pain, this could be a sign of tubal pregnancy, a condition that requires emergency medical care. Contact your health care provider immediately.

Emergency contraception pills are not 100% effective in preventing pregnancy, even when taken within 72 hours of intercourse. You still have a risk for pregnancy. You may need follow-up care if your normal menstrual cycle does not occur. Contact your health care provider if you do not have your period within 3 weeks of using emergency contraception or have symptoms of pregnancy.

Contraceptive pills do not provide any protection against sexually transmitted diseases. Consider testing for sexually transmitted infections if the unprotected intercourse may have put you at risk. You may need follow-up care in the next few weeks if you develop any symptoms of sexually transmitted infections, such as pain, itching, sores, or discharge.

Prevention: Other Types of Birth Control

Emergency contraception is not as effective as ongoing birth control. It should not be used routinely instead of birth control. If you are sexually active and wish to avoid pregnancy, you may wish to consider using a consistent form of birth control.

Many methods of birth control are available, both by prescription and over the counter. If you have questions about which is best for you, ask your health care provider or contact your local Planned Parenthood (800-230-PLAN).

Medically reviewed by Wayne Blocker, MD; Board Certified Obstetrics and Gynecology


"Emergency contraception"

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/20/2017
Medical Author:
Medical Editor:
Medical Editor:
Medical Editor:

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Emergency Contraception:

Emergency Contraception - Patient Experience

Tell us about when you used emergency contraception. Did it work?

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Contraception »

The practice of contraception is as old as human existence.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

Medical Dictionary