family planning

Emergency Oral Contraceptive Pills - iPill Side Effects, Birth Control Pill effectiveness

  • 4.7   (8 Votes)
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Deepika Tiwari - MBBS on 24 Jan 2019 - Written by Dr. Mahalakshmi Saravanan - MBBS - Grammatically Approved by Dr. Kavita Jaggi Agrawal - MBBS

Oral Contraceptive Pills like iPill are emergency contraceptive pills. Birth control pills are effective in preventing unwanted pregnancy, cysts and cancer of breast and ovary, reduce PMS and iron deficiency. I-Pill side effects include no protection from STDs, reduce sexual desire, and abdominal pain.

How does contraceptive pills work?

Contraceptive pills or ‘the pill’ in general usage, prevents pregnancy through hormonal barrier method. These pills contain two synthetic hormones- progestin and estrogen, which stops the ovum to get released from ovaries. As a result of no egg release, sperm can’t fertilize the egg and the woman consuming the pill can’t get pregnant.

The progestin hormones in the contraceptive pills stop the production of LH (Luteinizing Hormone) from the pituitary gland which prevents egg release. Also progestin affects the endometrium or the uterus lining making it inadmissible for any fertilization. Due to progestin in birth control pills, the cervical mucous gets thick and sperms can’t swim to fallopian tube and cause a pregnancy.

The estrogen present in contraceptive pills stops the production of FH (Follicle Stimulating Hormones) along with LH (Luteinizing Hormone) which stops ovulation and help preventing unwanted pregnancy.

I pill side effects, Birth control pills

Types of contraceptive pills

There are essentially two kinds of birth control pills- the combination pills and the mini pills based on the availability of estrogen and progestin hormones in them.

1- Combination pills: The combination pills have the presence of both the estrogen and progestin hormones. These pills come in two forms- cycle active and inactive. The cycle active pills are hormonal pills which are taken each day during a period cycle and discontinued a week before periods. The inactive pills have no hormones and help you to continue with your regular period cycle.

2- Progestin only pills or mini pills: As the name suggests, these pills have only progestin hormones as active ingredient and suitable for women who cannot tolerate estrogen effect. These pills are active during all days of your period cycle. These pills come in two forms- cycle only pills and emergency contraceptive pills. Cycle only pills are taken every day during your menstrual cycle. However, emergency contraceptive pills are taken within a few days after unprotected sex to regulate unwanted pregnancy.

Effectiveness of contraceptive pills or birth control pills

1- Contraceptive pills have many benefits apart from checking out unwanted pregnancy. Other benefits these anti-pregnancy pills have-

2- Highly effective with a success rate of 98 %

3- Prevents cysts in breasts and ovaries

4- Prevents ovarian cancer

5- Reduces iron deficiency and bone thinning

6- Curbs out infections in ovaries, uterus linings and fallopian tubes

7- Helps reducing PMS (premenstrual syndromes)

Risks of contraceptive pills

However, birth control pills are not free from side effects or health hazards. Some of the disadvantages of contraceptive pills are-

1- Occasional spotting of blood through vagina

2- Nausea, headache, breast tenderness etc.

3- Weight gain

4- Mood swings

5- Reduced libido or sexual urge

6- Changes in vaginal discharge

7- Visual changes


What is i pill?

I pill is the most popular emergency contraceptive pill. i pill falls under progestin only birth control pills and have additional presence of Levonorgestol progestogen along with progestin. It comes with a single oral tablet kit which should be taken within 72 hours of unsafe sex to help prevent unwanted pregnancy. It is a super high level contraceptive pills and not regular birth control pills and highly effective with success rate 95%.

Benefits of i pill

1- Provides quick solution to unwanted pregnancy

2- Levonorgestol in i pill helps in regenerating dead cells and give you a flawless skin

3- Regulates period

4- Prevents endometriosis

Side effects of i pill

1- It does not protect you from HIV/AIDS or other STD (sexually transmitted diseases).

2- It can lead to irregular menstruation cycle if taken as regular contraceptive pills. This is an emergency pill. This thing should always be kept in mind.

3- A woman who has an allergy to Levonorgestrel can be harmed with this pill.

4- It can reduce sexual interest/appetite.

5- Leads to rashes in some women, nausea, headache and various hormonal imbalances

6- Abdominal pain

7- Chest pain or breathing problems

8- Blurring of vision, redness or swollen eye/s

9- cramps


Hope you have liked our article. Follow Ela woman for regular updates on fertility health and treatment.

Dr. Mahalakshmi Saravanan

Written by

Obstetrician, Laparoscopic Surgeon

Dr. Mahalakshmi Saravanan is an infertility specialist who completed her MBBS from Rajah Muthiah Medical College in 1998 and DGO from Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute in 2000. Later in 2011, she pursued Fellowship in Reproductive Medicine and Andrology from Chettinad Medical College. Dr. Mahalakshmi Saravanan specializes in IVF, IUI, Laparoscopy, Hysterectomy, Tubal Ligation, Normal vaginal delivery and Surrogacy treatments. She is a member of various renowned gynecology associations including American Society of Reproductive Medicine. Dr. Mahalakshmi Saravanan is presently practicing at Abhijay Hospital Pvt Ltd and ARC International Fertility and Research Center in Chennai. Visit for more info.


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Pramila Agni

I never knew contraceptive pills can provide this much harm to our body. I abandoned i-pills since I was diagnosed with a cyst. Can I start having them again??

Sept. 10, 2018, 2:54 p.m. 4.5


Nitya Nanda

Do i-pills work after conceiving?

July 31, 2018, 9:12 a.m. 4.5


Bushra Tyagi

I have been using mini pills after the birth of my child. I feel a headache and nausea if I skip my dose. I gained weight after using them but it is manageable.

July 16, 2018, 1:41 p.m. 5.0


Anju Gulati

Someone looking to have knowledge for contraceptive pills should come to this article. Detailed and informative. Thanks for sharing!

Nov. 20, 2017, 6:37 p.m. 5.0


Rohanlal Sarasvan

I took stronger pills first to regulate menstruation and I got mood swings. Secondly, I started taking low dose modern ones for birth control and my limbs started to stiffen and I was short of breath. I guess after second one it was causing blood clots. I quit before it was too late. It can get r...

Oct. 27, 2017, 3:17 p.m. 4.5


Trishna Sahpathi

Apart from contraceptive pills, there are other reasons as well behind white discharge in women. Some may have abnormal discharge which is usually yellow or green in color, they may even have chunks in the discharge and it can be some kind of bacterial or yeast infection prevailing inside the body.

Oct. 25, 2017, 2:27 p.m. 4.5


Swati Saini

I have heard many women get side effects from birth control pills. They get mild nausea or vomiting like sensation when they use it for first time. Doctor recommends taking oral contraceptive pills with food to reduce any side effects.

Oct. 25, 2017, 2:27 p.m. 4.5


Ankita Rana

I prefer using contraceptives like depo-provera shots, vaginal ring, and diaphragm for birth control as they have fewer side effects and low cost. But some might have allergy with those. So, try to have the best for yourself.

Aug. 5, 2017, 4:33 p.m. 5.0

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