Emergency Contraceptive Pills: How Much Is Too Much?


The Question: How much of emergency contraceptive pills like Postpill is too much?

W.H.O’s Answer: Repeat use of emergency contraceptive pills does not pose any known health risk

HoneyandBanana’s Answer: It is much safer to take Postpill again to prevent pregnancy than to risk carrying an unplanned pregnancy to term.

Sex emergencies can happen anytime or anywhere and because Postpill prevents pregnancy after unprotected sex, it is the last hope for many a woman. A sex emergency could happen when the condom used goes burst or withdrawal goes wrong or when a woman miscalculates her safe days. Another unfortunate sex emergency is in the case of rape which is why emergency contraceptives are a very important treatment tool in any rape kit!

Emergency Contraceptive Pills: How Much Is Too Much? - Brand Spur


  • Research by the International Consortium for Emergency Contraception (ICEC) shows that ECPs are safe even when used repeatedly. It also states that compared with the potential health risks of pregnancy, taking ECPs to prevent unplanned pregnancy is much safer. While for rape victims, the psychological distress of getting pregnant for the rapist is not a burden to force on any woman, therefore, one should not be afraid to use Emergency Contraceptive Pills whenever needed for a rape victim even if she has taken it recently.
  • Repeat use of ECPs is classified as Level 1 in the World Health Organization’s Medical Eligibility Criteria (Level 1 indicates “a condition for which there is no restriction for the use of the contraceptive method”)
  • Postpill has no risk associated with overdose, the side effects are minimal and not everyone will experience them. The common side effects include nausea, headache and menstrual changes (period coming early or late).
  • Repeated use of Postpill does not cause infertility.
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Emergency Contraceptive Pills: How Much Is Too Much? - Brand Spur

While it remains medically safe to use Postpill repeatedly, frequent users (4 or more times in a month) should be advised to adopt a regular contraceptive method like Levofem daily Pills, the contraceptive Injection, Implants or Lydia IUD which are more effective and safer. So, if you are a frequent EC user (4 or more times in a month), then it is time to ‘upgrade’ from your emergency contraceptive pill status to a regular contraceptive method.


Source: DKT International