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Can I take the e-pill before sex?

I heard that e-pills are most effective the sooner I take them. Can I take them before sex? And would their effect last for the whole weekend?

The manufacturers don’t recommend it

You are absolutely right, the sooner you take the e-pill (also called morning-after pill, emergency contraception, or P2) after having unprotected sex, the better. So it makes sense to ask if you can take it before having sex.  
The manufacturers of emergency contraception advise to take the pills after sex – and that’s what you should stick to for the best results.

The e-pill would most likely protect you if you took it right before having sex. But, as this has not been thoroughly researched, you are better off following the manufacturer’s instructions.  
 
The e-pill might protect you from unintended pregnancies if you have sex again after taking a pill. Again, no research has been done to see how long the preventative effects last – so you are putting yourself at risk of getting pregnant. Ideally, you should take an e-pill every time you have unprotected sex. Keep in mind though that’s not ideal at all.

For emergencies only  

There is nothing wrong with keeping an e-pill at home, so you don’t have to rush to the chemist in case of an emergency. But please don’t rely on it all the time.

The e-pill is called emergency contraception for a reason: it should only be used in case of emergency. For example, if your regular birth control method fails.

The high levels of hormones in the e-pill could mess with your cycle and cause unpleasant side effects like nausea or delayed periods. 

Better options  

So, if you are having sex regularly, I would strongly advise choosing a more reliable birth control method, such as the pill or an IUD. Condoms are also a great option, especially if you also need to protect yourself from STIs.
Talk to your healthcare professional to get information on what the best options are for you.


Do you have questions about birth control? Head to our discussion board to chat with our moderators.

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Recent Comments (37)

  1. THIS WHY I LOVE VISITING…
    THIS WHY I LOVE VISITING LOVE MATTERS PAGE GOOD INFORMATION. THANK YOU.

    1. Thank you for the feedback,…

      Thank you for the feedback, keep visiting the page for even more.

  2. I have alway though that…
    I have alway though that taking the pill before sex helps or makes it work better. Thanks Love Matters.

    1. You are very welcome Penny.

      You are very welcome Penny.

  3. I did this after seeing this…
    I did this after seeing this I am very worried I might get pregnant.

      1. Hello Anonymous, thank you…

        Hello Anonymous, thank you for getting in touch and asking a great question. Birth control methods help to avoid unwanted pregnancies. But they can mess with your body too. Before you choose a new method, consider these side-effects wisely. Click here to find out more:

        https://lovemattersafrica.com/birth-control/8-common-side-effects-of-contraceptives

        Furthermore, If you don’t want to get pregnant – or don’t want your partner to get pregnant – you need to use birth control, also called contraception or family planning. Click here to find out more: 

        https://lovemattersafrica.com/birth-control/choosing-the-right-birth-control/how-to-choose

    1. So did you get pregnant?
      So did you get pregnant?

  4. Thank you for that…
    Thank you for that information

  5. Hello after taking my e…
    Hello after taking my e.pills my cycle changed from 3 days to a week….what might be the problem

  6. Can one get pregnsncy before…
    Can one get pregnsncy before receiving her period..and one use the pill

    1. Hi there, yes if you have…

      Hi there, yes if you have unprotected sex you can get pregnant. Emergency contraception pill only works when taken within the first 72 hours after having unprotected. However, it is most effective when taken within the first twenty four hours, the longer one waits the less effective it becomes. This means that one can take a pill and still become pregnant if they have unprotected sex. Check out the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/birth-control/types-of-birth-control/emergency-contraception

  7. Does the e pill have any…
    Does the e pill have any side effects/

  8. my fiancee took that pill 2…
    my fiancee took that pill 2 hours before sex,is it
    effective

  9. Hi,
    If I take an emergency…

    Hi,
    If I take an emergency pill a day before having sex,is there need to have another after having sex?

  10. Hello Veronica, thank you…

    Hello Veronica, thank you for reaching out to us and asking a great question. The e-pill would most likely protect you if you took it right before having sex. But, as this has not been thoroughly researched, you are better off following the manufacturer’s instructions. For more on the same, click here: https://lovemattersafrica.com/birth-control/choosing-the-right-birth-control/can-i-take-the-e-pill-before-sex 

    Happy Easter!

  11. is it advisable to take a…
    is it advisable to take a pill before sex?

  12. Hello Galoz, thank you for…

    Hello Galoz, thank you for getting in touch and asking a great question. As the article above suggests, The manufacturers don’t recommend it. Have a wonderful week ahead and stay safe!

  13. Thnx 4 da dat information…
    Thnx 4 da dat information bambi

    1. Hi ashiraf, thank you for…

      Hi ashiraf, thank you for reaching out to us. We are glad to hear that you have found this information useful. Feel free to look through the website to find other articles that could be of help.

  14. Hey Carol, I
    A
    lqays w…

    Hey Carol, I
    A
    lqays w
    Onnder ifhaving sex during my safe days is a better method of preventing pregnancy… Am scared to use it… Am scared too to use the p2 after sex and my question is,, should I take it imeediately after the first round of sex?? What of other rounds??

    1. Avoiding pregnancy with…

      Avoiding pregnancy with unprotected sex needs you to track your period. Your cycle begins on the first day of your period to the first day of your next period.

      To know how long your cycle is, you will need to track it closely for a few months. Most women’s cycle’s last between 28 and 30 days. However, yours may be longer or shorter. Day one through seven are considered to be infertile. Day eight through to day 19 are considered to be your most fertile. From day 20 to the day 26 to 30 are considered to be your infertile days.

      This article should provide more information. Please remember, that using this method can prevent pregnancy but you will still be exposed to STI’s. This method is not full proof and pregnancy could still occur.

      https://lovemattersafrica.com/birth-control/types-of-birth-control/safe-days-pros-and-cons?fbclid=IwAR16Aj90XjCzFNMEo3HV_4sgn8S1ve4qI-ih7v-NlwmqpPohTBYYw_7fmEs

      About the emergency pill, it is best to take it immediately after the last round of condomless sex. However, if you are looking to have continuous unprotected sex for more than 24 hours then the pill might not actually provide adequate protection.

  15. Please ? will it work if It…
    Please ? will it work if It’s use before sex or is it after sex?

  16. Hello Davidlead, thank you…

    Hello Davidlead, thank you for getting in touch and asking a great question. It is important to know that an E-pill is an emergency pill. The fact that it says emergency means that it should only be used in case of an emergency (after having unprotected sex) in which case you and your partner suspect that there may be a chance of unintended pregnancy. Please do not use emergency pills as a form of contraception. There are so many other safer forms of contraception such as IUD,s, condoms, and more that are less harmful and will still allow you to have protected sex.

    Birth control and contraception are for everyone. All people can control whether they become parents. Every couple has different birth control needs. Find out what might work best for you in this section.  Click here to find out more: https://lovemattersafrica.com/birth-control/choosing-the-right-birth-control

  17. Ihave been using a depo for…
    Ihave been using a depo for the past one year I stopped using it on 27 th November 2020 after a amonth ihad sex the third day idid p2 and that same day ihad unprotected sex can it be possible for me to be pregnant

  18. Hi Anne, thank you for…

    Hi Anne, thank you for getting in touch with us and asking a great question. Depo-Provera is a reversible method of prescription birth control. Also known as DMPA, Depo shot, Depo, or the birth control shot, this progestin-only contraceptive prevents pregnancy for up to three months with each shot. That being said, if you stopped using it on November of last year, and because Depo-Provera remains in your body for up to 15 weeks after your last shot, and you can start your first birth control pill at any time within that time frame, this means that if you had unprotected sex within this 3 month period, you need not worry about getting pregnant as your chances of conception are very low.

  19. Actually i took e pills…
    Actually i took e pills before sex and then it took 2-3mins I had sex yet again what could I do. Should I take another e pills

    1. Hi Am, 

      E-pills are…

      Hi Am, 

      E-pills are supposed to be taken after sex. They are emergency contraceptives. Since you took the e-pills at such short intervals, I would suggest that you talk to your doctor about your options. 

  20. My question is if you use the pill after sex ,and u have unprotected sex again that pill can prevent pregnancy

    1. Hi Prisy,

      Well, ideally the emergency contraception was designed to be taken after sex, not before. The moment you take it before sex, you are automatically reducing its effectiveness thus it may not give you the best results. On the other hand, the e-pill would most likely protect you if you took it right before having sex. But, as this has not been thoroughly researched, you are better off following the manufacturer’s instructions. Read this article to learn more: Can I take the e-pill before sex?

  21. If you use pill after sex and then you have unprotected sex you can get pregnancy

  22. Am happy because you usually explain things in good way whereby everybody can understand.thnkyou

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