The side effects of these treatments include nausea and vomiting along with irregular vaginal bleeding. Some patients will complain of breast tenderness, abdominal pain, dizziness, and headaches.
These types of emergency contraception have been used successfully when initiated up to 72 hours after intercourse. This was the findings with the initial studies. However, more recent findings indicate that they are still moderately effective when used up to 5 days after intercourse.
Lastly, we should mention the use of the copper IUD for emergency contraception. This has been used since 1976 (when inserted within 5 days after unprotected intercourse). One advantage of this treatment is that the IUD can be left in and serve as a long-term treatment for contraception. Sometimes this treatment may not be as easily available to the patient, and the placement of the IUD may not be easily accomplished in a patient who is young and has not had a baby before.