How long does the morning after pill last in your system

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The length of time the morning-after pill stays in your system depends on the specific type. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Levonorgestrel (Plan B): The most common morning-after pill is Levonorgestrel, often known by the brand name Plan B. It works by delaying or preventing ovulation, the release of an egg from your ovary. Levonorgestrel may stay in your system for 5-6 days, but it’s effective for preventing pregnancy for up to 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex.

  • Ulipristal Acetate (Ella): This less common morning-after pill works by delaying ovulation for a longer window. It can be effective for up to 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected sex. Ulipristal acetate may stay in your system for a similar timeframe as Levonorgestrel, around 5-6 days.

Important Points:

  • Effectiveness Window: The effectiveness of both types of morning-after pills decreases the longer you wait to take them after unprotected sex. The sooner you take them, the more effective they are at preventing pregnancy.
  • Not a Regular Birth Control Method: Morning-after pills are for emergency use only and are not as effective as regular birth control methods like the pill, IUD, or condoms. They should not be relied upon as your primary method of contraception.
  • Doesn’t Terminate Pregnancy: Morning-after pills work by preventing ovulation or fertilization. They do not terminate an existing pregnancy.

Additional Tips:

  • Read the Package Instructions: Always follow the instructions on the packaging of the specific morning-after pill you’re using.
  • Talk to a Doctor or Pharmacist: If you have any questions or concerns about morning-after pills, consult a doctor or pharmacist. They can advise you on the best option for your situation and provide information on side effects and potential interactions with other medications.

Here are some resources you might find helpful:

  • Planned Parenthood – How Long Does Plan B Last in Your System?: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-south-east-north-florida/medical-services/emergency-contraception-plan-b
  • Mayo Clinic – Morning-after pill: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/morning-after-pill/about/what-you-can-expect/rec-20394729