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Post Pill And Postinor2 – What’s the Difference?

December 31, 2022

Image of the womb on a pink background with pills around it depicting Postinor1 and Post Pill

Post pill and Postinor 2 are both emergency contraceptives (birth control pills).

Are there any similarities between the two? Does one work better or faster than the other? This article explains all you need to know about any differences between Post pill and Postinor 2.

The birth control pill has been around since the 1960s, when it was first approved for use in the US.

It was designed to prevent pregnancy by blocking ovulation in women. Today, many different birth control pills are available, with unique side effects.

Emergency, not Regular Contraception

Emergency Contraception (EC) birth control is quite different from regular birth control pills.

Some EC pills include:

  • Post Pill (e.g. Lydia)
  • Postinor or Postinor2
  • Take Action
  • Plan B and others

The only non-oral emergency contraception method currently available is the Copper coil (IUD)

Essentially the EC method is taken only occasionally. It is designed as a one-off method when your usual or regular method fails for one reason or another.

These reasons may be:

  • If you forgot to take your regular birth control pills,
  • you missed the depot injection date
  • your condom split or you did not use a condom.

What about ‘regular’ birth control methods?

You use these methods daily, weekly or other frequencies – they are taken at regular intervals.

They include pills taken by mouth and other non-oral methods, including devices that go in the arm, womb or injections.

The Depo shot (injection) is given every 3 months. On the other hand, other long-acting methods like the implant (placed in the arm) or coil (located in the womb) are changed every 5 or 10 years. These are all regular methods.

Good sexual health means you are looking after yourself by:

  • choosing partners carefully and loving yourself first,
  • taking steps to prevent sexual infections and unplanned pregnancies,
Black lady Discussing differences between Post pill and Postinor with the health worker

Post Pill and Postinor2

Two examples of emergency birth control pills are post pill and postinor2.

Both work primarily by delaying ovulation. Ovulation is the release of a mature egg from one of your ovaries.

They may also work by preventing sperm from reaching an egg, so both types of birth control pills will stop you from getting pregnant.

However, some people prefer one type of birth control pill over another. Here’s how they differ.

What are their Differences/Similarities?

Post pill and Postinor2 each contain progesterone. This hormone helps prevent pregnancy by delaying ovulation. It also thickens cervical mucus and makes it more difficult for sperm to reach an egg.

Progesterone also thins the lining of the uterus, making it less likely for fertilized eggs to implant.

Thus there are 3 methods by which emergency birth control pills can work, but according to studies, the most reliable one is by delaying ovulation.

Since these pills contain the same hormone, are there any differences in how they work?

Not really.

They will work the same way if you follow the dosing instructions in your pill packet. Don’t forget they are meant to delay ovulation, so taking them after ovulation may mean they are less likely to work.

Copper coil is an alternative to Post Pill and Postinor2 for emergency birth control

Is there a Better Option?

If you’re looking for a better option for the Post pill or Postinor2, consider the Ella pill. This is also an emergency birth control method which has similar effects to Progesterone. It is more effective than the first two pills and can be taken for a longer period after unprotected sex than them.

Alternatively, you may consider the copper coil. In fact, some ladies prefer the coil as it is more effective and can be taken within 5 days of having sex, unlike the pills.

In addition, after inserting the coil, you can leave it in place, and it becomes your regular contraceptive method.

Remember, the Copper coil is the only coil that can work as an emergency birth control method. The hormone-containing coils (Mirena, Kyleena or Jaydess etc.) cannot do this.

Post pill and Postinor2 Side Effects

So we know that both birth control pills and postinor2 contain hormones that prevent pregnancy. They prevent ovulation (the release of an egg) and thicken cervical mucus so sperm can’t reach the egg. This prevents fertilization.

However, this effect is only temporary. Later in the cycle, if ovulation was delayed by the pill, your ovary will release the egg. So your fertility remains intact.

Not everyone gets side effects, and they can include:

  • nausea and vomiting
  • crampy pain in your lower tummy
  • breast soreness

Some ladies can experience changes to their menstrual cycle after taking emergency birth control pills.

Taking Postinor2 or Post pill can bring your period forward, so it happens earlier than the scheduled date.

Or, they may delay your period so the next period happens after your scheduled date. This can bring some alarm as many women worry about what is responsible for unscheduled bleeding after the pill.

While it is also possible the bleeding may be a side effect of the pill, it may be implantation bleeding if the pill had not worked or you were already pregnant.

Other causes of unplanned bleeding after sex are sexual infection and vaginal dryness – learn more here.

A hand holds out options for safe sex - a purple wrapped condom with Post pill or Postinor 2

How Much Should You Take?

These emergency birth control pills come in different doses sometimes.

That does not make Post pill better or superior to Postinor2 and vice versa.

If you look closely at both medicines, you will find that the recommended dose for each contains the same amount of Progesterone: 1,500 mcg of Levonorgestrel.

This can either come in the form of two tablets or one.

When your pack contains two tablets, you can take both together simultaneously. Or you can take one tablet and the other 12 hours afterwards.

The most important thing to consider in timing is having the full dose as soon as possible after sex and, where possible, before ovulation.

More Reading


Editing by AskAwayHealth Team


All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising  Medical Practitioners on various healthcare conditions to promote quality healthcare. The advice in our material is not meant to replace a qualified healthcare practitioner’s management of your specific condition.
Please contact a health practitioner to discuss your condition or contact us directly 

Image Credits: Canva

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