For many women, emergency contraceptives are essential in preserving life as they knew it. Whether a sexual encounter was unplanned or the usual contraceptive methods didn’t work, emergency contraceptives are essential. Pills like Plan B can be taken the morning after these encounters and your risk for pregnancy will be greatly diminished. While these pills change the lives of many women who aren’t ready for a baby, they are not always 100% effective. If you have taken an emergency contraceptive pill and still became pregnant, you’re probably worried about the effects the pill will have on your baby’s development.

Luckily, emergency contraceptive is specifically designed so that if it is ineffective, it will not hinder your baby’s development. This is surprising to many women, as the pill seems to have such a harsh effect on their own bodies. One study in particular studied the likelihood of women who took failed morning-after pills having an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies are dangerous, and they occur when the baby starts growing outside the uterus. Often, mothers have no choice but to abort these pregnancies to save their lives. Since emergency contraceptives are supposed to halt the pregnancy before it begins, it would make sense that ectopic pregnancies could be a result.

The study’s results showed that this was not at all the case. Women who took failed emergency contraceptives were not more likely to have ectopic pregnancies than women with planned pregnancies. In fact, statistics supported the fact that women who took emergency contraceptives were less likely to have an ectopic pregnancy simply because they were less likely to become pregnant in general.

While they are safe according to this study, you should not make a habit of taking emergency contraceptives. If you need these pills more than once or twice throughout your sexually active life, it’s time you talked to your doctor about more effective and safer forms of birth control. Emergency contraceptives are strictly for emergencies. If you don’t want to have a baby anytime soon, you should look into using condoms or birth control.

Sometimes, emergency contraceptives are necessary. If you are in a situation where you must take them, rest assured that they will probably work. However, in the event of their failure, studies show that you will still have a normal and healthy pregnancy with no negative side effects from the failed method of emergency contraception.

Source: Kelly Cleland et al: Ectopic Pregnancy and Emergency Contraceptive Pills. Obstetrics and Gynecology Volume 115 Issue 6 pp. 1263-1266 June 2010

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