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Unwanted 72 - Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Warnings, and Precautions

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Unwanted 72 - Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Warnings, and Precautions

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Unwanted 72 is an emergency contraceptive pill that helps to prevent unplanned pregnancy. Have a read to know more.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Veena Madhan Kumar

Published At November 26, 2018
Reviewed AtMarch 13, 2024


Unwanted 72 is an emergency contraceptive pill that is to be taken to prevent an unplanned pregnancy after having unprotected sex. It is also known as "the morning-after" pill. It is a single-dose medication wherein one dose is used as emergency contraception. It has a chemical composition of Levonorgestrel. This pill has to be taken orally and within 24 to 72 hours of having unprotected sex. The sooner you take the pill, the better the effect will be. As time passes by, the effectiveness of the pill is lowered. It is not necessary to take it at any particular time of the day. However, it is most effective when taken within 24 hours of unprotected sexual intercourse. Usually, Unwanted 72 is safe if taken properly and at the appropriate time, but it can lead to certain side effects.


The active ingredient of Unwanted 72 tablets is Levonorgestrel. Levonorgestrel is a synthetic hormone commonly present in oral contraceptive medicines. Levonorgestrel prevents the release of the egg from the ovary, a female reproductive organ. It can also change the lining of the uterus to prevent pregnancy.

What Is Unwanted 72 Used For?

Unwanted 72 tablets are to be taken within 72 hours of the act of penetration for it to be most effective. It helps to prevent pregnancy in the case of:

If taken after 72 hours, it becomes ineffective in restricting the fertilization process, as in certain cases. The egg is already fertilized in 3 days.

  • It cannot be used to protect against sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS, herpes, and so on.

  • It does not cause any abortion if you are already pregnant. You can use Condoms as they are a safe and effective method of contraception.

How Does Unwanted 72 Work?

Unwanted 1

Unwanted 72 contains a hormone in high doses, inactivating LH (luteinizing hormone) and FSH (follicular stimulating hormone), and it ultimately makes the lining of the uterus unfavorable for implantation of fertilized egg and ovulation, too. It thus works by stopping pregnancy after sex. It takes three days (72 hours) for pregnancy to occur after fertilization, which is what this pill stops from occurring. It does not terminate a pregnancy that has already occurred. So, it is important to take it in the stipulated time frame as directed by your doctor. In case of vomiting within three hours of taking Unwanted 72, it may not work, and another tablet should be taken.

The Onset of Action:

Unwanted 72 pills should be taken within 72 hours of having unprotected sex. The sooner the pill is taken, the better the effectiveness. The effectiveness of the pill is most if taken after 24 hours of unprotected sex. It is ineffective if taken after 72 hours as the egg is already fertilized in 3 days.

How to Take Unwanted 72?

Most doctors recommend taking Unwanted 72 after having meals, but it can be taken at any time throughout the day. If in case you vomit within three hours of taking this pill, then you need to take another pill as soon as possible as the constituents of the pill would not have been absorbed in the body because of vomiting, making the pill ineffective.

The pill is not an alternative to any other contraceptive device.

Unwanted 72 emergency contraceptive pills cannot be used to protect against the risk of any sexually transmitted disease like HIV/AIDS, chlamydia, herpes, etc. Instead, condoms can be used as they are a safe and effective method of contraception.

What Could Be the Side Effects?

Common side effects include:

  • Headache.

  • Breast tenderness.

  • Palpitations.

  • Headache.

  • Dizziness.

  • Bloating and Nausea.

  • Spotting or vaginal bleeding.

  • Rise in blood sugar.

  • Risk of yeast infection in the vagina.

The medicine should be taken only under supervision. Inappropriate usage results in damage to the women’s reproductive system. The symptoms include:

  • Irregular periods.

  • Painful cramps during periods.

  • Ectopic pregnancy.

  • Skin dryness and sensitivity to sunlight.


The usage of Unwanted 72 is contraindicated in women with:

  • Blood clotting disorder.

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding.

  • Prone to allergies.

  • Porphyria.

  • Liver tumour or any other liver problems.

  • Women tend to develop tubal pregnancy.

  • Women who are planning a pregnancy.

  • Women who are pregnant.

Frequently Asked Questions


How Often Can I Use Unwanted 72?

Whenever there is a need for emergency contraception after unprotected sexual intercourse, Unwanted 72 is advised. It should be taken one immediately after sexual intercourse and one after 12 hours. But, it actually depends on the combination of pills the woman is taking. Some combinations of medicines should be taken one at the start and one at 12 hours, some combinations of medicines can be taken like two pills immediately after sex, and it does not need the 12th-hour pill. But, in any combination of drugs, it is necessary that the first immediate drug after sexual intercourse must be taken.


Can Unwanted 72 Protect Against Sexually Transmitted Disease (Stds) and HIV / Aids?

No, Unwanted 72 cannot protect the women from getting sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS or HIV. It can only protect women from getting pregnant after unprotected sexual intercourse. If a woman wants to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, it is important to use sexual barriers during sexual intercourse. The most commonly used sexual barrier is condoms. It can be used both by men and women.


What Is the Difference Between 'Emergency Contraceptive Pill' and 'Abortion Pill'?

An emergency contraceptive pill is used immediately after an event of unprotected sexual intercourse. It can only prevent the woman from getting pregnant. But, the abortion pill is a medicine that is used to terminate pregnancy in a woman who has already had an embryo implanted in her uterus, or in other words, she already has an implanted fetus in her uterus. You should consult your doctor before taking abortion pills.


Is Unwanted 72 Effective If Frequent Acts of Intercourse Have Occurred in a Short Duration of Time?

Yes, Unwanted 72 can be effective if the medicine is taken exactly after the event of unprotected sexual intercourse. It is also known as the morning-after pill. If it is the type of pill that should be taken as two pills, then it should be taken immediately after sexual intercourse. Otherwise, it has to be taken once after sexual intercourse and the other one after 12 hours. It has to be taken as such to be effective infrequent acts of intercourse that have occurred in a short duration of time.


Is One Pill Enough to Stop Pregnancy?

No, in any combination of emergency contraceptives, one pill is not enough to prevent conception or pregnancy. It would always need at least two pills to prevent pregnancy. It should be taken under doctor’s advice. Ask your doctor about the dosage intervals and also know the side effects clearly.


Does It Bleed After Taking Unwanted 72?

Yes, it bleeds sometimes once the woman takes Unwanted 72. The bleeding could indicate a period or that is a result of the failure of conception or ovulation. However, if abortion tablet is taken after the woman undergoes conception bleeding or spotting, that woman has successfully achieved abortion.


How Can I Know Unwanted 72 Is Working?

It is medically proven that Unwanted 72 has low failure rates and it is highly effective against pregnancy. The only clue that a morning-after pill or an emergency contraceptive is working is by the help of the woman’s next period. If the next period arrives on its due date correctly, then we can know it's benefits. The pill usually works by delaying ovulation.


How Many Unwanted 72 Pills Should Be Taken?

The number of Unwanted 72 pills that are usually advised to be taken are two numbers of the drug. Sometimes depending on the type of the drug both can be taken together, and sometimes it can be taken in 12-hour intervals. But if a woman is frequently undergoing unprotected sexual intercourse, then the use of emergency contraceptives is not indicated.


Is It Safe to Consume Alcohol While Taking This Medicine?

Alcohol intake affects the body in many ways. When alcohol is taken with many other medications, it is known that alcohol affects the metabolism of those medicines. Particularly, the Unwanted 72 or emergency contraceptives have no evidence to prove that the intake of alcohol along with these drugs could reduce the efficacy of these drugs. So, the intake of alcohol while taking this medicine might be quite safe.


How Long Do the Effects of This Medicine Last?

The effects of the medicine Unwanted 72 last up to three days. In these three days, the drug prevents conception in the reproductive-aged female who has undergone unprotected sexual intercourse. You should check with your doctor regarding the usage of these drugs.


Is Unwanted 72 Harmful to Future Pregnancy?

If Unwanted 72 is not taken more than twice by a woman, it does not have any effect on the future pregnancies of that woman. However, the woman who takes these pills will have a major effect on their menstrual cycle. It gets disrupted or gets irregular by the pill. The other effects on the pill will be nausea, vomiting, and breast discomfort. The reason behind all these effects is a large number of hormones like estrogen and progesterone are involved in these pills.


What Happens After Taking Unwanted 72 Tablets?

The Unwanted 72 tablet has a hormonal combination known as Levonorgestrel. The main activity of the tablet is to delay or prevent ovulation so that the sperm that enters the uterus during unprotected sexual intercourse has no ovum available to start the process of conception. It usually takes 72 hours after the event of unprotected sexual intercourse for its successful effect on the woman’s body.


Can I Take Unwanted 72 Once in a Month?

It is safe if Unwanted 72 or the levonorgestrel pills are used more than once in a month, but it is not suggested for any woman to use it as a permanent contraceptive method because it may leave some side effects on the menstrual cycle. It is not good for any woman. There are many other available modes of contraception that are used by reproductive-aged women. The other modes are quite safe and it can be used for the long term also.


When is it appropriate to take an Unwanted 72 tablets?

The first tablet is consumed within 72 hours after unprotected sex. After taking the first tablet, the next pill must be taken after 12 hours. This is the protocol to be followed for Unwanted 72.


How should I take Unwanted 72?

After unprotected sex, consume the tablet as soon as possible. It can be taken before or after food. The medication works better if the first tablet consumed within 72 hours after unprotected sex. If the consumer vomits within two hours after taking the drug, it is recommended to contact the doctor or health care advisor regarding the dosage level.


How effective and what is the success rate of Unwanted 72?

Unwanted 72 pill is available as a set of two, which is consumed within 72 hours after unprotected sex. The effectiveness and success rate of this medication is ninety percent by preventing pregnancy. But, the failure rate is up to ten percent who are at risk of attaining pregnancy.


Can I take Unwanted 72 during breastfeeding?

Yes, even during breastfeeding or not, Unwanted 72 pills can be consumed, and it will work effectively by preventing pregnancy. Probably, this action won’t affect the quality or quantity of the milk that the breasts are producing.
Dr. Veena Madhan Kumar
Dr. Veena Madhan Kumar

Obstetrics and Gynecology


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