How Will the Morning After Pill Affect My Period?

Morning After Pill and Abortion Services in Rochester, NY

For women who have recently had birth control fail them, or may have forgotten it altogether, the morning after pill can be a life saver. Emergency contraception, such as Plan B or ella, should never be relied on as your main form of birth control, but can be extraordinarily helpful if something happens and you end up needing to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. It is important to note that the morning after pill is NOT the same as an abortion pill. Emergency contraception prevents pregnancy, while abortion terminates an existing pregnancy.

Taking the morning after pill can be a little scary if you don’t know what to expect. Many women wonder how the pill will affect their next period, especially because they’re eager to get it and confirm they’re not pregnant. Let’s take a look at what your first period after emergency contraception will look like.

What can you expect for your first period following the morning after pill?

The way the morning after pill works is by delivering a high dose of a hormone called levonorgestrel, a type of progestin or artificial progesterone. When your body gets bombarded with this hormone, it can affect your period (and entire menstrual cycle) in a few different ways:

  • Timing: Your first period after taking emergency contraception may follow your normal schedule. It is common, however, to get it either about a week early or a week late. If your period is two weeks late or more, you should consider taking a pregnancy test.
  • Duration: Your period may last longer than usual after taking emergency contraception.
  • Flow: Some women experience a lighter or heavier flow during their first period after the morning after pill. Heavier flow is more common than lighter.

Next period vs. morning after pill spotting

After taking emergency contraception, it is normal to experience some light bleeding or spotting as an effect of the extra hormones. It is important to note that this bleeding is not the same as your period. Here’s what you can expect from any morning after pill bleeding:

  • Timing: Any bleeding from the morning after pill will start within a few days after taking it.
  • Duration: If you do bleed, it will only last a day or two, or occasionally slightly longer.
  • Flow: Morning after pill bleeding will be very light, possibly even just a few spots.
  • Other potential side effects: The hormones in the morning after pill can also cause side effects like abdominal pain, nausea, headaches, fatigue, breast tenderness, and dizziness. These should subside within a few days.

If you find yourself in need of the morning after pill, South Avenue Women’s can help. Our medical professionals can help you access emergency contraception and then set you up with a reliable birth control option. If you missed the window for emergency contraception and are dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, we can also can provide information about and perform safe, confidential, and effective abortion services if you decide that’s what is right for you.

Call us today at 585-271-3850 to schedule an appointment with our caring team members!