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How Often Can You Use An Emergency Contraceptive Pill?

An emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) stands as a critical safeguard to prevent an unintended pregnancy following unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. However, the frequency of its use raises questions and concerns among many. This guide delves into the safe use of an ECP.

Understanding Emergency Contraceptive Pills

An emergency contraceptive pill (ECP), often referred to as a morning-after pill or plan B, is designed to prevent an unintended pregnancy after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure has occurred. It works by preventing or delaying ovulation and doesn't have any effect if a pregnancy has already begun.

There are two types of ECPs available:

  • Levonorgestrel (LNG)-containing pill, and

  • Ulipristal Acetate (UPA)-containing pill

The most commonly available pill in India is the Levonorgestrel-containing pill. It can help prevent an unintended pregnancy if taken as soon as possible within 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex.

It is crucial to note that an ECP is not meant to be used as a regular contraceptive method but only as an emergency measure.

How emergency contraceptive pill or morning after pill or plan b works

Ideal Frequency of Use

While no strict limit exists on the number of times an ECP can be used, it is vital to consider its role as an emergency solution rather than a primary contraceptive method.

  • Occasional Use: Safe but should not replace regular contraceptives

  • Repeated Use: Can lead to menstrual irregularities and decreased effectiveness

Potential Side Effects and Considerations

An ECP is generally safe with minimal side effects. However, frequent use can lead to:

  • Menstrual irregularities

  • Nausea and fatigue

  • Headaches

For those with specific health conditions, consulting a doctor before use is recommended.

effects of frequent use of emergency contraceptive pill or morning after pill or plan b

Alternatives and Regular Contraceptive Methods

Considering the limitations of an ECP, exploring regular contraceptive methods is advisable. These include:

  • Birth control pills (BCPs)

  • Intrauterine devices (IUDs)

  • Implants

  • Injections

  • Condoms

regular contraceptive methods options birth control pill IUD implant injection condoms effectiveness benefits usage


This guide aims to provide clear and concise information on the use of an emergency contraceptive pill (ECP), emphasizing its role as a backup rather than a primary contraceptive method.

For a comprehensive understanding of contraception and to explore alternatives suitable for regular use, we encourage readers to consult the further reading section and refer to the listed references for scientific backing.


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.

  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Emergency Contraception. 2022.

  • Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice. Emergency Contraception: A Last Chance to Prevent Unintended Pregnancy. 2014

  • Pregled Literature. Advantages and disadvantages of emergency postcoital contraception. 2016.


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