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When it comes to emergency contraception, it pays to be in the know. Although you might think you’re clued up on the morning after pill, it could be that you’re confusing fact and fiction. So that you’re up to speed on this subject, keep reading.

It’s easily accessible

The morning after pill can be easily accessed from a variety of places, including your GP, your local chemist and sexual health clinics, and you can even purchase it from an online pharmacy such as Click Pharmacy. This is especially useful if you’re too embarrassed to approach your doctor or a pharmacist in-person. If you decide to use the morning after pill, you will be asked a few simple health-related questions to ensure it’s suitable for you.

It’s more effective the sooner it’s taken

While it’s name suggests differently, the morning after pill can be effective for a number of days after sex. There are two types of emergency contraception available – Levonelle and ellaOne. Levonelle can work for up to three days after sex, while ellaOne can be effective for up to five days. Despite this, it’s important to remember that the sooner the morning after pill is taken, the more effective it will be at preventing pregnancy.

Using it is not the same as having an abortion

It is a common misconception that using the morning after pill is the same as having an abortion. The truth is, these two things are completely different. While an abortion terminates a pregnancy that has already begun, emergency contraception works to prevent an egg from becoming fertilised or implanted in the first place.

It will not affect your long-term fertility

Although it may have a temporary effect on your ability to fall pregnant, there is no evidence to suggest that using the morning after pill can lead to long-term fertility problems. However, you should note that this type of emergency contraception is not intended for continuous use. It’s also important to recognise that it shouldn’t be used as a replacement for another method of contraception, such as the combined pill.

There are some potential side effects

Like most medicines, the morning after pill can cause some side effects. The most common ones include nausea, abdominal pain, headaches, tender breasts and feeling tired and dizzy. If you are sick after taking it, you should speak to your doctor or pharmacist immediately as you may need to take another dose.

Keeping this information in mind should give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing this treatment is available should you need to use it.