Medical Definition of Morning-after pill

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Morning-after pill: A form of contraception used after rather than before sexual intercourse. Morning-after pills interfere with pregnancy by blocking the implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterus (womb). The pills contain the same drugs as regular birth control pills, but in higher doses, and work the same way. Morning-after pill is a misnomer because these pills may be taken up to 3 days after unprotected sex. The term was coined back in 1966. Also known as emergency birth control pill or EBC pill. See also: Emergency contraception.

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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