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Emergency Contraception - The Morning After Pill

Afraid? Worried? Uncertain about last night?

 If you engaged in unprotected sex, you are at risk of becoming pregnant.

But there is something you can do.

Emergency contraception, also known as the morning after pill, is an emergency form of contraception. It can lower the risk of pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of intercourse. This method of prevention is 89% effective. However, the sooner after intercourse the pill is taken, the better. If taken within the first 24 hours after intercourse, it can reduce the risk of pregnancy by 95%.

Emergency Contraceptive pills are stocked by all major pharmacy chains, but be sure to phone ahead to make sure EC is available in your pharmacy. You will no longer have to ask the pharmacist for EC, it will now be on store shelves.

Emergency contraception is an emergency measure only.   There are 3 types of emergency contraception pills, 2 contain hormones and one does not.   The first type contains the hormone, Levonorgestrel, which is sold both with and without a prescription depending on the brand.   Plan B One Step is an example of this type of emergency contraception that is available for women of any age to have access to without a prescription.    There are other brands and generic versions of this medicine available as well.   Men may continue to purchase these medications for their female partners.   

Birth control pills are the second type of emergency contraception pill that can be used.   However, this method is usually not as effective and can cause nausea and vomiting.   Each brand of birth control pill is taken differently for this use.   Thus, you should discuss with your provider prior to taking birth control pills for emergency contraception.

Ulipristal (brand name:  ella) is the third kind of emergency contraception pill.   It is not a hormone and only available by prescription.   It is approved for use up to 5 days after unprotected sex or contraception failure.  This one-pill regimen reduces the risk of pregnancy by interacting with the progesterone receptor and preventing the release of an egg (ovulation) for up to 5 days; this is important because sperm cells can live for as long as 5 days in a woman’s reproductive system. ella may also work by changing the uterine lining to prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the wall of the womb (implantation).

Call 855-5001 for details or to ask questions.