The 6 Main Reasons Why Morning After Pills Fail

The morning after pills, often known as Emergency contraceptives or P2, is a sort of emergency birth control (contraception). If you are a woman, you have taken them, seen them, or heard about them before from a friend, sibling, coworker, or classmate.

For women who have had unprotected intercourse or whose birth control method has failed or due to condom failure/error, emergency contraception is used to prevent pregnancy. It works by preventing your ovary from releasing an egg for a short period and is only meant to be used as a backup method of birth control, not as a primary strategy.


There have been numerous reports of women falling pregnant after taking the morning after pills. I am sure you have heard, seen, or read about medications that did not work. Talk to women about the failure rates and you will receive a bundle of narrations. The pills fail due to a variety of factors.

The morning-after pill failed because you took it after you had already ovulated, you delayed before taking it, you were already pregnant while taking it, you vomited after taking it, or due to interaction with other drugs.

This post is for everyone, especially women and men, because much as men cant use them, they can help the women close to them, such as friends, sisters, or even girlfriends, during times of need. Remember that information is power. This article will take you through the types of the morning after pill, how it works, and, most importantly, why it may fail, resulting in pregnancy.

Let’s get started.

Types of the morning after pills

There are two types of morning after pills;


1. A tablet containing ulipristal acetate.

morning after pills

There is only one brand of this morning after pill, called Ella, and it is the most effective. Also, Ella emergency contraception requires a prescription from a nurse or doctor. You can use it for up to 120 hours (five days) following unprotected intercourse, but it is better if you take it right away. If you weigh more than 195 pounds, Ella may not work as well for you.

2. Pill with levonorgestrel.

morning after pills

Its brand names are numerous e.g., Plan B One-Step, Take Action, My Way, Option 2, Preventeza, AfterPill, My Choice, Aftera, EContra, etc. Most drugstores, pharmacies, and superstores sell levonorgestrel morning-after pills over the counter without a prescription.

They are most effective when taken within 72 hours (3 days) of unprotected sex, but they can be taken up to five days later though; the sooner you start using them, the better. Levonorgestrel morning-after pills may not function if you weigh 155 pounds or more.


How the morning after pill works

Before you take the morning after pill, you first need to understand how it works and, most importantly, understand your period cycle. That means that before taking the emergency pill, you should know where you are in your cycle. Ask yourself, am I ovulating? or am I in my fertile window?

The morning after pills works by preventing your ovary from releasing an egg for a short time. However, how efficiently the morning after pill prevents pregnancy depends on where you are in your menstrual cycle and how soon after unprotected sex you take it.

Note: Emergency contraception should not be used as a regular birth control method.

Reasons why the morning after pill fails

1. You have ovulated already.

morning after pills
ovulation calendar

Because the morning after pills work by delaying ovulation, if you take them after you have already ovulated, they will not work.

It can prevent you from ovulating if you take it shortly after sex if you have not already started. It is best to take the pill as soon as possible since if you wait too long, you can miss the window when the medication is most effective.

2. Delay in taking them.

If you wait too long to take your morning after pills, they will fail to work. It is best to take it as soon as possible after unprotected sex because that is when it works best. The rate of effectiveness is reduced if you take it for three to five days.


3. You were already pregnant.

morning after pills
positive pregnancy strip

If you take the morning after pills while you are already pregnant, it will not work. It also will not keep you safe from sexually transmitted diseases. The morning-after pills, commonly known as emergency contraception (EC), is a type of contraception that helps to prevent pregnancy and will not enable abortion. An existing pregnancy will not be disrupted or harmed by the medicine.

4. Interaction with other medication.

morning after pills

If you are taking the morning after pills, make sure you are not taking any other medications that could cause it to fail.
Both drugs and natural products can reduce the effectiveness of emergency birth control pills. There are some drugs and herbal supplements that may interfere with the effectiveness of the Plan B pill.


Barbiturates, Bosentan, Carbamazepine, Felbamate, Griseofulvin, Oxcarbazepine, Phenytoin, Rifampin, St. John’s wort, Topiramate, and the epilepsy medicine Dilantin are among these treatments.

If you are not sure which drugs to avoid, see the emergency contraception package information insert for more details, or better yet, do not take any other medications at that period.

5. Vomiting after taking them.

If you vomit after taking the morning after pills, there is a good chance you have thrown up the pills as well. If you vomit right afterward, you may need another tablet; however, if you vomit later, you will not need another pill because the previous one has already been absorbed by the body. To be certain about what to do, consult a health professional.

6. Being obese.

morning after pills
Obese woman

The weight of a woman is another factor that can cause the morning after pills to fail. Women who are heavier have a higher chance of falling pregnant after taking it, and these are not unusually heavy women. The morning after pill’s effectiveness may be affected by a higher body mass index.

Even research has proved that and there is still more ongoing research about obese/overweight women and the morning after pills failure.


7. You took it before unprotected intercourse and not after

This is a typical miscalculation made by most women. They have unprotected intercourse, take the morning after pills, and then have sex again, believing that the previous dosage has safeguarded them from pregnancy.

Kindly, ladies! If you have unprotected intercourse after taking Plan B, it will not protect you from becoming pregnant.
You must take it right after you have unprotected intercourse and use a form of contraception when you have sex to avoid becoming pregnant. If you do it, you will become pregnant.


The article has summarized all of the reasons why the pill could fail. If you miss some aspects, or if you lack information or ignorance, the morning after pills will fail. This is why every woman should have a basic understanding of how contraceptives function as well as their menstrual cycle.

Did I miss something? feel free to share with us reasons why the morning after pills could fail in the comment section.

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