Surprising Side Effects Of The Morning-After Pill

Every now and then our days can take a turn and not go exactly as planned. Perhaps you slept through your alarm, forgot your packed lunch on the kitchen counter, or got into a fender bender at a red light. The forgotten or unexpected events of our days leave us quickly making adjustments and turning to plan B. And in the case of unprotected sex, it's essential to have a plan B.

Enter the morning-after pill. The pill that works as a plan B for when precautions taken during sex don't go as planned. "The morning after pill is a form of emergency contraception that can either prevent or delay ovulation. It can also stop an egg from undergoing fertilization or prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterine lining," explains Michelle Metz, a general ob-gyn, to Byrdie.

According to Planned Parenthood, millions of women have taken the morning-after pill and have been doing so for more than 30 years. There have been no reports of serious complications, which is great news. Though as with many other pills, there are a few surprising side effects to be aware of.

The morning-after pill may affect your next period

Many of the side effects associated with the morning-after pill are experienced shortly after taking it. "Breast tenderness (progesterone causes the milk glands to swell), bloating, mood swings (caused by hormonal fluctuation), sleepiness, and/or dizziness are common after taking emergency contraception," explains Zev Williams, chief of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Columbia University Medical Center (via Byrdie).

The morning-after pill may also induce some delayed side effects. According to MayoClinic, you may notice bleeding or cramping in between your next period. It has also been reported that your next period may be a little heavier than normal. And the more often you have to rely on the morning-after pill, the more likely you'll experience one or more side effects. "Every formula of the morning-after pill advises you to take it only once every cycle, but really, you can safely take it anytime you have unprotected intercourse. Of course, if you take it more than once, your risks of side effects increase," says Charlotte Wilken-Jensen, head of the Gynecology and Obstetrics Department at Hvidovre Hospital in Denmark, to Vice.

Even if you have a plan so set in place that it makes a dictator's regime look spontaneous, life can throw in surprises every now and then. Luckily, when it comes to unplanned and unprotected sex, the morning after-pill can be an effective plan B. Even if it does come with a few surprising side effects.