Is the morning after pill an abortion pill?

What happens if you take the morning after pill and you're already pregnant?


The morning-after pill works by delaying ovulation and making it harder for sperm to enter the uterus. Delaying ovulation reduces the chances of the sperm fertilising the egg. If you are already pregnant, the morning-after pill will not terminate your pregnancy. Therefore, you need to take the morning after pill as soon as possible after sex. This reduces the chances of the egg fertilisation in the first place.

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There are two types of morning-after pill currently available, Levonelle and ellaOne. Both Levonelle and ellaOne work by delaying ovulation. Delaying ovulation reduces the chances of fertilisation occurring, and hence reduces the chances of pregnancy. On the other hand, abortion methods work by terminating a pregnancy. Abortion pills contains 2 ingredients: Mifepristone and Misoprostol. Mifepristone works by breaking down the lining of the uterus. Misoprostol then causes the uterus to contract to expel the pregnancy. If the pregnancy has passed 24 weeks, more invasive surgical methods of abortion may be required. These surgical options involve stopping the heart of the baby/fetus and then removing the baby/fetus from the uterus using forceps or suction.

For many women, abortion is a difficult situation to handle. Pregnancy advisory services offer post-abortion counselling, but it may help to discuss the pregnancy and your decision with your partner and or counsellors beforehand to help you prepare for the procedure.

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