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iPill Side Effects: What to Expect and When to See a Doctor

The iPill is a type of emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) containing levonorgestrel, a synthetic hormone. Taken within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse, it can prevent unwanted pregnancy.

Like all medications, the iPill can cause some side effects. Most are mild and transient. But it helps to know what to expect. This guide covers the range of iPill side effects, their frequency and severity, and when to see your healthcare provider.

How iPill Works

The iPill works mainly by preventing or delaying ovulation. No egg is released for fertilization. It may also work by preventing the egg and sperm from joining. For greatest efficacy, take it as soon as possible after unprotected sex. The sooner the better for pregnancy prevention.

ref: news18

Here are some general facts about iPill:

  1. Purpose: iPill is an emergency contraceptive pill used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex.
  2. Active ingredient: It contains levonorgestrel, a synthetic form of the hormone progesterone.
  3. Mechanism of action: It works by delaying or preventing ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovary) and/or thickening cervical mucus, making it harder for sperm to reach the egg.
  4. Effectiveness: Most effective when taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, but can be taken up to 120 hours later.
  5. Side effects: May include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, headache, breast tenderness, and irregular bleeding.

Related Post:- Early Pregnancy Symptoms – How to Identify You’re Pregnant

Common iPill Side Effects

Many women experience minor iPill side effects that often resolve within a few days. Common symptoms include:

Common iPill Side Effects
Ref: Youtube
  • Menstrual changes – Irregular, early, delayed or prolonged bleeding is possible. This is temporary.
  • Nausea and vomiting – About 50% of women have nausea. Take the iPill with food to reduce.
  • Breast tenderness – Swelling, pain and discomfort may occur. Wear a supportive bra.
  • Headache and dizziness – Due to rapid hormone fluctuations. Stay hydrated and rest.
  • Mood changes – You may feel emotional, anxious or irritable for a few days.
  • Fatigue – Feeling tired and drained is not uncommon after taking it.
  • Abdominal pain – Cramping and pain can happen but is usually mild.
  • Loose stools – Diarrhea or loose bowel movements may affect some women.

These side effects are generally harmless and fade within 1-3 days in most cases. Use pads for menstrual changes and OTC medication as approved by your doctor for pain relief.

Uncommon but Serious iPill Side Effects


In rare cases, the iPill can cause:

  • Heavy bleeding – Seek medical care if you soak over 2 pads an hour for 2 hours.
  • Severe lower abdominal pain – This could indicate an ectopic pregnancy or complication.
  • Severe headache or visual issues – Symptoms of stroke, though extremely rare.
  • Severe vomiting/diarrhea leading to dehydration
  • Itching/rash signaling an allergic reaction

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any severe symptoms, especially abdominal pain, heavy bleeding or headaches that do not resolve with rest and hydration.

Who Should Not Take iPill?

Those with the following conditions should avoid iPill due to health risks:

Who Should Not Take iPill?
Ref: Hindustantimes
  • Confirmed pregnancy
  • History of ectopic pregnancy
  • Breast cancer
  • Liver disease or liver tumor
  • Severe uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Allergies to levonorgestrel or any component

Talk to your doctor before taking iPill if you have any medical conditions or take other medications. Those on anticonvulsants or antibiotics should discuss possible interactions. Proper guidance is essential for safe use.

When to Take iPill

For greatest efficacy, take iPill as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse – ideally within 12-24 hours. It remains fairly effective if taken within 72 hours (3 days). The sooner taken, the better it prevents pregnancy by stopping ovulation.

What to Expect After Taking iPill

Side effects usually begin within a few hours of taking it. They peak around 1-3 days after intake and resolve by 5-7 days. Nausea, headache, dizziness and fatigue are possible in the first 1-2 days.

Your next period may come earlier or later than expected by 1-2 weeks. Use protection if engaging in intercourse again after taking it. Spotting may occur – take a pregnancy test if you miss your period.

If symptoms do not resolve after 1 week or you experience severe reactions, see your doctor for evaluation. Avoid taking iPill more than once in the same menstrual cycle unless advised by a doctor.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for iPill to work?

iPill works primarily by preventing or delaying ovulation. You are protected from pregnancy immediately after taking it.

When will side effects of iPill start?

Most side effects begin within 1-2 days but may take up to 1 week to fully resolve. Each woman responds differently.

Can I take 2 iPill at once?

No, do not take more than one dose or repeat the dose without consulting your doctor. One iPill provides adequate levonorgestrel.

How often can I take iPill in a year?

Ideally, iPill should not be taken more than once in a menstrual cycle or thrice in a year. Frequent use is not recommended.

Will iPill work if I take it halfway through my cycle?

Yes, iPill can work anytime in your menstrual cycle if taken within 72 hours of intercourse. But side effects may be greater if taken mid-cycle when ovulation has started.

Know that minor side effects are common but these medications prevent the much more serious condition of an unintended pregnancy. Seek prompt medical care if you have any severe symptoms or concerns after taking emergency contraception.



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