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Common misconceptions about contraceptives

Doctors tell WCNC that when it comes to emergency contraceptives, there are some misconceptions people may have.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Abortion was a big issue for many voters when they cast their ballots in this election.

In North Carolina, Republicans have tried to pass more abortion restrictions only to be blocked by the State's Democratic Governor. 

This week, Republicans just missed winning a "Supermajority" in the North  Carolina House, which would have enabled them to override the Governor's veto. What happens next is anyone's guess, but in the meantime, there has been renewed interest in emergency contraceptives.

In all 50 States, emergency contraceptives are legal and available at drug stores. Doctors tell WCNC when it comes to emergency contraceptives; there are some misconceptions people may have. 

MORE ON WCNC: Abortion clinic that opened days after Roe fell is inundated



Does the morning-after pill kill a pregnancy? 


No, the morning-after pill will not kill a viable pregnancy.

This is false.


"It's going to have no impact on a viable pregnancy," Dr. Harrison said. 

According to Harrison, that's because if a woman has already ovulated, it will not stop the egg and the sperm from meeting and fertilizing. 

"If you have already ovulated, when it comes to the pill, the cat is out of the bag, so it's trying to work for closing the gate at the ovary, keeping the sperm outside, but if the egg gets out, it is no longer effective," Dr. Harrison said. 

MORE ON WCNC: Kentucky, Michigan voters approve protecting abortion rights


Will taking emergency contraceptives affect your fertility long term? 


No, emergency contraceptives will not impact your fertility long-term. However, both the Cleveland Clinic and Dr. Harrison tell WCNC this should not be used as a form of birth control only for emergencies. 

"It just jolts the body with the message, don't let the egg out right now, and then it's out of your system, and that moment has passed," Dr. Harrsion said. "No impact on long-term hormonal makeup that would impact your future fertility." 


This is false.


Can your weight reduce the effectiveness of the morning-after pill?


Yes, your weight can impact the effectiveness of the morning-after pill. 

This is true.


Both the Cleveland Clinic and Dr. Harrison tell WCNC that people with a higher body mass may not experience the same level of effectiveness when using emergency contraceptives. However, Dr. Harrison tells WCNC people should only take one pill regardless of how much they weigh. 

"Researchers did see that it was less effective with BMI's over 30, so they did a trial where they gave double the dose, and it was no more effective, so currently, the recommendation is you take one pill," Dr. Harrison said. 

Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 704-329-3600 or visit VERIFY.

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