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Emergency Contraception

emergency contraception

plan b

Sometimes things don’t turn out the way you planned and you are at risk of an unwanted pregnancy. Don’t panic!

Emergency contraception (EC) is a safe and effective backup contraceptive method for when your birth control has failed, forgotten, used incorrectly or sex was forced. EC may prevent pregnancy, but it will NOT stop an already-established pregnancy or harm a developing fetus. EC does not cause an abortion.


The CDC reports that as many as 11% of U.S. people identifying as women ages 15-44 who have ever had sexual intercourse have used a method of EC. That is 5.8 million people over the last decade.


Here are three options that can help prevent an unwanted pregnancy:

Copper-T IUD

Copper-T IUD can be inserted by a clinician within 5 days of unprotected intercourse. It can be left in place for up to 10 years for very effective contraception or can be removed after your next menstrual period, when it is certain that you are not pregnant.

Plan B One-Step®

Plan B is an oral pill that contains a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone – the same hormone found in the birth control pill, just at a higher dose. It is a backup plan that helps prevent pregnancy when taken within 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex or birth control failure. The sooner it’s taken, the better it works. It should not be used as regular birth control, because it’s not as effective. Plan B is available on the shelf without age restrictions to both women and men, at HQ, or online at www.planbonestep.com

ella®

ella is another oral emergency contraceptive used for the prevention of pregnancy after unprotected sex or birth control failure. Unlike Plan B, which works by releasing a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone, ella works by suppressing the body’s progesterone production, thereby preventing ovulation, even during the time in your cycle when you are most fertile, for up to 5 days following unprotected sex. You can obtain the pill at HQ, or get a prescription from HQ to buy it at the pharmacy or you can follow directions to get it online www.ella-rx.com.


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Affiliations

american academy of family physicians
association of reproductive health professionals
national family planning
lgbtq healthcare equality
national abortion federation
abortion care network