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Does An Emergency Contraceptive Pill Affect Fertility?

An emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) is a crucial resource for preventing unintended pregnancies following unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. However, misconceptions about its impact on fertility are widespread.

This blog aims to clarify whether an ECP affects long-term fertility, using evidence-based information and peer-reviewed research.

The Role Emergency Contraceptive Pill

An ECP works primarily by delaying or preventing ovulation, and is not effective if a pregnancy has already begun. It is crucial to understand that an ECP is meant for occasional use and is not intended as a regular method of contraception.

How does an emergency contraceptive pill or morning after pill or plan b work

Do Emergency Contraceptive Pills Affect Long-Term Fertility?

The broad consensus in medical literature is that ECPs, which typically contain levonorgestrel (LNG) or ulipristal acetate (UPA), do not affect future fertility.

These conclusions are based on an understanding o how ECPs function—primarily by preventing or delaying ovulation, rather than affecting the reproductive system in a manner that would impact long-term fertility.

Studies that focus on the return of fertility after discontinuing contraceptive methods, including methods that contain hormones similar to those used in ECPs, generally find that fertility returns to normal shortly after discontinuation.

World Health Organization (WHO) and other reproductive health organizations support the conclusion that ECPs do not harm future fertility based on how these contraceptives work and the absence of evidence suggesting long-term effects.

Although an ECP does not affect long-term fertility, it is important to note that it should not be used as a regular form of contraception, due to its lower effectiveness compared to other more consistent methods of contraception.

does emergency contraceptive pill or morning after pill or plan b or ipill or unwanted pill affect pregnancy or fertility in future

Common Misconceptions About Emergency Contraceptive Pills

Misconceptions about ECPs often stem from confusion with abortion pills, which are entirely different in function and purpose. ECPs do not terminate a pregnancy, they prevent one from occurring.

difference between emergency contraceptive pill or morning after pill or plan b or ipill or unwanted pill and abortion pill


ECPs are a safe and effective method to prevent an unintended pregnancy after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. Evidence strongly indicates that ECPs do not adversely affect long-term fertility. It's important to distinguish between myths and facts to make informed decisions about reproductive health.


This blog, including its text, images, and infographics, are for educational purposes only and not a substitute for professional medical advice. For personalized advice, always consult a doctor.

Further Reading

For more details on this or related topics, refer to the papers listed in references below, the FAQs on the ECP page, or other blogs on the Learn page of our website


  • World Health Organization (WHO). Emergency Contraception. 2021.

  • Contraception. Effect of levonorgestrel emergency contraception on implantation and fertility: A review. 2022.

  • Contraception and Reproductive Medicine. Return of fertility after discontinuation of contraception: a systematic review and meta-analysis. 2018.

  • WHO-CCR in Human Reproduction & All India Institute of Medical Sciences. Guidelines for Medical Abortion in India.


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