The MAP is a megadose of chemical hormones that contain estrogen and progesterone hormones or just progesterone. If you take the drug within 72 hours of unprotected sex, there are 3 ways it can work:

...It can prevent or delay ovulation, restricting the release of an egg from the ovary.

...It can prevent the fertilization of an egg that has already been released (however sperm can fertilize an egg as early as 15 minutes after intercourse).

...It can shrink and dry out the lining of the uterus. This makes it hostile for a human embryo to implant. The human embryo then passes out of the uterus, resulting in an early abortion.

You may experience possible physical and emotional side effects with taking the MAP. These include:


...abdominal pain



...increase or decrease in menstrual flow

...possible risk of developing blood clots

...increase in tendency to develop strokes and heart attacks

...risk of developing both benign and malignant liver tumors

Nausea and abdominal pain are also side effects of an ectopic pregnancy. If the MAP is taken and you have an ectopic pregnancy, you may falsely attribute the side effects to the pill. The result could then be fatal. An ectopic pregnancy is a condition in which a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus---most often in the fallopian tubes.

The MAP cannot guarantee that you won't get pregnant nor does it protect you from HIV/AIDS or from contracting a sexually transmitted disease.

(Information taken from "The Love Approach" training manual from Heartbeat International and "The Morning After Pill" brochure from Focus on the Family.)