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I-Pill - When to Take and Its Side Effects

Published on Dec 09, 2017 and last reviewed on Jul 10, 2019   -  3 min read


There is an enormous shift in attitude among the youth towards sex. Although they are leading a modern lifestyle, they are often caught up in unfamiliar situations. This article aims to create more awareness regarding the popular 'morning-after' pill and how to use it correctly to avoid an unplanned pregnancy.

I-Pill - When to Take and Its Side Effects

Accidents do happen. That is the reason we have emergency contraceptive pills such as I-pill available. However, these are not regular birth control pills. They are meant to be used only in emergency situations.

They are never to be used as the primary method of contraception. Also, this tablet is recommended for use by women aged 25 to 45. It is important to note that it is not intended to be used by teenagers whose reproductive organs are still maturing.

Who Needs I-Pill

I-pill is the quick solution, if you are worried about an unplanned pregnancy after:

How Does I-Pill Work

Depending on where you are in your cycle, the I-pill works in two ways to prevent pregnancy.

How and When to Use I-Pill

Although it is referred to as the 'morning-after pill', it can be taken even right away. It is most effective when taken immediately after the act for up to 24 hours after (90 to 95 %). The effectiveness comes down to 85 % when taken from 25 to 48 hours after and to 58 % when taken between 49 to 72 hours after. If it is taken after 72 hours, it may not work at all.

It comes as a single tablet which is to be taken with water after food to prevent vomiting. If you vomit within three hours after taking the I-pill, it is recommended to take another I-pill as quickly as possible.

What Are the Side Effects

Short-term side effects include:

side effects of i pill

Repeated careless usage can affect your periods permanently.

What Happens When I Take I-Pill Without Sperms Entering

If you had an unprotected exposure, but are not sure of your risk of getting pregnant, it is still recommended to take an I-pill as there are no special side effects if taken when you were not exposed to sperms.

When Should I Use Regular Birth Control Again

If you took an I-pill because you missed taking your regular oral contraceptive pills for three days in a row, you could start using your regular pills from the next day onwards.

Reason for Bleeding After Intake of I-Pill

Many women have intermenstrual spotting or bleeding commonly known as 'withdrawal bleeding' five to seven days after taking I-pill. But, if you do not get your periods within three weeks, it is advised to take a pregnancy test.

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Will I-Pill Cause Infertility

While the I-pill is not proved to affect fertility and future pregnancies directly, they are hormonal pills that are meant to disrupt the natural cycle of the body. So, when it is taken more than twice in a span of six months, it can throw the menstrual cycle off balance and make ovulation unpredictable. Your periods can become irregular, and the flow can become heavier or lighter.

Does I-Pill Cause Abortion

I-pill prevents pregnancy from happening in the first place. It is to be used only before a pregnancy is established. It does not cause abortion in an already pregnant woman. It has no effect on pregnancy.

If you miss your period even after taking I-pill, it is possible that the pill did not work for you. In that case, consult your doctor for the next course of action.

Is Pregnancy Still Possible After Taking I-Pill

I-pill has a good success rate when taken within the stipulated time. Still, like with any other type of contraception, there is a slight chance of failure with the I-pill too. So, it is still necessary to consult a doctor for a follow up three weeks after taking I-pill to rule out a pregnancy, both uterine and in the tube.

For more information consult a Obstetrician and Gynaecologist online -->


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Frequently Asked Questions


How effective is I-pill?

The effectiveness of I-pill depends on the time it is taken after unprotected sex. If it is taken within the first 24 hours, it is more than 95 % effective, and if it is taken between 25 and 48 hours, it is effective up to 85 %. But the effectiveness reduces to 58 % or less if taken between 49 and 72 hours.


Is vaginal bleeding normal after taking I-pill?

Vaginal bleeding and spotting are common after taking an emergency contraceptive pill, and it is called withdrawal bleeding. It normally occurs within a week of taking I-pill due to changes in hormonal levels. But if you experience severe bleeding with abdominal cramps, it is best to consult your gynecologist


Does bleeding after taking I-pill mean no pregnancy?

The bleeding that occurs after taking I-pill is called withdrawal bleeding, and it is caused due to the hormone progesterone present in the pill. If you did bleed after taking an emergency contraceptive, then the chances of pregnancy are extremely slim. But if you did not get your regular periods 25 to 30 days after taking I-pill, it is best to take a pregnancy test and consult your gynecologist


How to use I-pill to avoid pregnancy?

I-pill or any other emergency contraceptive pill has to be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex. The earlier you take it, the more effective it will be in preventing pregnancy. It should not be used as a permanent birth control method


What is the dosage of I-pill?

One packet of I-pill contains a single 1.5 mg tablet. Only one tablet needs to be taken within 72 hours after the failure of other contraceptive methods or unprotected sexual intercourse


How does I-pill stop pregnancy?

I-pill works in the following ways:
By preventing ovulation, that is, it stops the ovaries from releasing an egg.
By making the uterine wall unfavorable for a fertilized egg to implant.
Thickens the cervical mucus


Is it safe to take I-pill after 72 hours?

Yes, it is safe to take I-pill even after 72 hours, but it might not be very effective in preventing pregnancy. I-pill is most effective if within 3 days (72 hours), but it can be taken up to 5 days


Can I-pill delay periods?

Yes, I-pill can delay your periods by a week or more. But, if you do not get periods even after 25 to 30 days of taking the pill, get a pregnancy test done.


What are the chances of getting pregnant even after taking I-pill?

Emergency contraceptive pills like I-pill are effective but less than oral contraceptive pills. The chances of you getting pregnant depend on when you take the pill. If you take the pill after the implantation of the fertilized egg has occurred, then it will not work


Can I take I-pill during periods?

As the chances of getting pregnant are almost nil during periods, there is no use of taking an I-pill, even after unprotected sex. But, it is safe to take I-pill during periods


How many days can I-pill delay periods?

Usually, I-pill can delay periods by 7 to 10 days. Get a pregnancy test done, if you do not get periods even after 25 to 30 days of taking the pill.


When can I take a pregnancy test after taking I-pill?

If after a month of taking I-pill, you did not get periods, then take a pregnancy test.


Is one I-pill enough to stop pregnancy?

Yes, one I-pill is sufficient to prevent pregnancy, if you take it within 72 hours or before implantation takes place

Last reviewed at:
10 Jul 2019  -  3 min read




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Query: Hello doctor, My wife is 25 years old and she had her period on the 14th of last month. On the 1st of this month, while having intercourse, unfortunately, the condom broke. She had taken I-pill within two hours. Can you please advise if the tablet will work or not?  Read Full »

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