Side effects of the emergency contraceptive pill
NHS ChoicesMedical Reference
Taking the emergency contraceptive pill has not been shown to cause any serious or long-term health problems. However, it can sometimes have side effects.
Common side effects include:
- abdominal (tummy) pain
- irregular menstrual bleeding (spotting or heavy bleeding) before your next period is due
- nausea (feeling sick)
Less common side effects include:
- breast tenderness
- vomiting - seek medical advice if you vomit within three hours of taking the emergency contraceptive pill
Any side effects will normally pass quickly. If you vomit within 3 hours of taking ellaOne or 2 hours of taking Levonelle, you will need to take a repeat dose or have an IUD fitted.
When to see a doctor or nurse
If you are concerned about any symptoms after taking the emergency contraceptive pill, contact your GP or speak to a nurse at a sexual health clinic.
You should talk to a doctor or nurse if:
- you think you might be pregnant
- your next period is more than seven days late
- your period is shorter or lighter than usual
- you have any sudden or unusual pain in your lower abdomen (tummy)