How effective is the morning after pill?

We spoke to a gynecologist so you don't have to

By Alice Peter-Bhagtaney

KARACHI: Unprotected sex could lead to an unwanted preganancy, but there are steps you can take to avoid  it, although it is discouraged. You still have the chance to dodge that pregnancy bullet but you’ve got to act fast.

We spoke to Dr Talat Alkhairy, a gynecologist and obstetrician based in Karachi, to find out how effective the morning after pill is, when you should take it, and what the side effects are, if any.

“The morning after pill is quite effective,” says Dr Alkhairy. “It is an effective way of avoiding pregnancy for unmarried partners and even married couples who don’t wish to start a family just yet.” Despite what the name suggests, however, you shouldn’t wait till the morning after to take it.

Furthermore Dr Alkhairy also directs on how to purchase the pill. “There are different types of morning after pills, which are all effective, and are easily available at drugstores and pharmacies. You can go and ask for ’emergency pills,’ which they’re commonly referred to as, and buy them over the counter without any judgment or fear whatsoever.”

But there are some dos and donts of it, as shared by Dr Alkhairy.


1. The morning after pill is to be taken as soon as possible (ASAP) after having sex or within 12 hours. Don’t wait beyond that.

2. It should be your ‘Plan B’ as a birth control method.

3. Plan A should always be condoms or any other type of birth control method.


1. This pill tends to interfere more with hormones than any other contraceptive, therefore, it should not be taken frequently otherwise it can cause irregular bleeding, bloating and several other hormonal imbalances.

2. Don’t wait too long to take the pill.

3. Don’t pick it over other types of birth control methods.

This story is part of a series, which is updated weekly. You can read the previous entry here

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