The Morning After Pill

Are you concerned that you may be pregnant because you had unprotected sex? If so, you may be considering taking the morning-after pill, also referred to by its brand name, Plan-B®.

What is the Morning-After Pill?

The morning-after pill is sometimes referred to as “Emergency Contraception.” It is a drug designed to be taken within 72 hours after you have had unprotected sex. The morning-after pill contains a large amount of progesterone, which is a common drug in birth control pills.


How does it work?

Based on where you are in your menstrual cycle, the morning-after pill could affect you in a few different ways:

  1. It could prevent ovulation, which stops the egg from being released, so fertilization (or conception) cannot occur.
  2. It could cause the sperm to not be able to reach the egg by affecting the lining of the fallopian tubes, which would also prevent fertilization.
    • However, it is known that sperm can reach the fallopian tubes within minutes after intercourse, and if an egg has already been released it could already have been fertilized.
    • If an egg has already been released and fertilized using emergency contraception could cause a very early abortion.
  3. It could irritate the lining of your uterus, which, if an egg has already been released and fertilized by the sperm, it could make it harder for an embryo to implant in the uterus.


What are the side effects of the Morning-After Pill?

There are several known side effects of the morning-after pill, including:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Breast tenderness
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Abdominal pain and cramping could be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy.
  • The pain that may occur as a result of the morning-after pill can mask the symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy, which requires emergency treatment and you should contact medical support right away.

If you have had unprotected sex in the last 72 hours and are not sure if the morning-after pill is right for you, schedule a free same-day appointment with us. Our all-female staff and licensed medical professionals are available across South Hampton Roads at all five of our locations in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and Suffolk. We provide a safe and comfortable environment for you to ask any questions with total confidence and confidentiality.


All Services Are Free Of Charge

You will never receive an invoice for any medical or counseling services provided at The Keim Centers. We don’t ask for insurance information and we don’t have a billing department. We receive no financial gain from your decision. The Keim Centers can provide services at no cost to you because we are a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization. There are local individuals, foundations, and organizations that help cover these costs because they believe in helping women.