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Does An Emergency Contraceptive Pill Affect Emotions And Mood?

In the realm of reproductive health, the emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) stands as a pivotal option for preventing an unintended pregnancy following unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. However, amidst their widespread utilization and significant benefits, questions often arise about their potential impact on women's emotional and mental well-being. This blog delves into the nuanced relationship between ECP use and mood changes.

Understanding Emergency Contraceptive Pill

Emergency contraceptive pill (ECP), commonly known as morning-after pill or plan B, is a form of contraception or birth control that is intended to prevent an unintended pregnancy after unprotected sex (when no contraception is used) or contraceptive failure (for example, when the condoms breaks, slips, or leaks during sex). It should be used only in case of an emergency and not as a regular contraceptive method.

In India, the most commonly used ECP is the single pill containing 1.5mg Levonorgestrel (LNG), a synthetic progestogen (female hormone). It works by preventing or delaying ovulation and should be used as soon as possible within 72 hours (3 hours) after unprotected sex.

levonorgestrel LNG emergency contraceptive pill ecp morning after pill plan b ipill unwanted pill

Emotion And Mood Changes: What Does The Research Say?

Research studies have explored the relationship between hormonal contraception and mood changes. Hormonal contraceptive methods are effective in preventing pregnancy, but their hormonal content can potentially influence mood and emotions. While many women do not report significant mood changes, a subset may experience some emotional fluctuations.

However, the relationship specifically between the ECP and mood or emotions has not been widely studied. A key ingredient in an ECP is Levonorgestrel (LNG), which can affect mood in some women. But there is not enough recent data available to establish a strong correlation between ECP use and mood changes.

side effect of emergency contraceptive pill ecp morning after pill plan b ipill unwanted pill on moods and emotions

Possible Factors That Can Influence Mood During ECP Use

Factors that can potentially influence the emotional response to ECP use include:

  • Hormonal Sensitivity: Individual differences in sensitivity to hormonal changes can affect how a woman responds emotionally to an ECP.

  • Psychological State: The circumstances leading to the need for emergency contraception can itself be stressful, potentially confounding the emotional impact of the pill.

factors influencing mood and emotions with use of emergency contraceptive pill ecp morning after pill plan b ipill unwanted pill


While an emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) offers a crucial safety net against an unintended pregnancy, it's impact on mood and emotional well-being varies among individuals. It's essential for women to be informed about the potential for mood changes and to seek professional guidance if they experience significant emotional distress following the use of an ECP.


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


  • Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica. Emotional distress in morning-after pill patients. 1979.

  • Australian Prescriber. Hormonal contraception and mood disorders. 2022.


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