What is the Difference Between the ‘Morning After Pill’ and the ‘Abortion Pill’?

What is the Difference Between the ‘Morning After Pill’ and the ‘Abortion Pill’?

If you’re wondering if the Morning After Pill works the same as an Abortion Pill, read this article to learn about the difference between emergency contraception and abortion. 

The Morning After Pill is not the same as the Abortion Pill. Simply put, the Morning After Pill is an Emergency Hormonal Contraception that prevents pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse. Whereas the Abortion Pill terminates a pregnancy.  

How the Morning After Pill Works 

The Morning After Pill comes in the form of a tablet, which women can take to prevent pregnancy up to 96 hours (5 days) after unprotected sex. It can also be taken if your usual method of contraception fails, for example, if the condom you’re using breaks, or if you’ve missed a pill.  

There are two types of Morning After Pills: 

  • Levonelle – Taken within 72 hours of having unprotected sex. 
  • EllaOne – Taken within 120 hours (five days). 

Both pills work by delaying ovulation so that the egg can’t be fertilised so you won’t get pregnant. 

The sooner you take the tablet, the more effective it will be in preventing pregnancy. If the Morning After Pill is taken after ovulation, it is unlikely to be effective. 

Using contraception is always the best way to prevent pregnancy – there are many types of contraception such as the contraceptive pill and condoms. But, if you do have a failure with it, the Morning After Pill can help in emergency situations.  

You can get the Morning After Pill from: 

  • Your local GP 
  • Most Sexual Health (GUM) Clinics 
  • Most Family Planning Centres 
  • Most NHS Walk-In Centres or A&E Departments 
  • Most pharmacies 

How the Abortion Pill Works 

If you have missed the window for using the Morning After Pill and have become pregnant, you can opt for an abortion (terminating the pregnancy) up to 9 weeks of pregnancy 

The Abortion Pill involves taking two different types of medicine – Mifepristone and Misoprostol – at different times, to end an existing pregnancy. Legally, in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, you are only allowed to have an abortion up to 24 weeks pregnant. 

If you are pregnant and have decided to use the Abortion Pill, contact a GP, nurse, sexual health practitioner, or pharmacist to provide you with the medication.   

If you need the Morning After or Abortion Pill, contact Anna Pharmacy. We provide free counselling services for anyone who would like to discuss your options.