Sex Terms

Emergency Contraception

A way to reduce the risk of pregnancy after unprotected vaginal intercourse or intercourse where the method of birth control failed.

Emergency contraception (EC) comes in the form of pills (commonly known as the “morning-after pill,” even though it can be taken it up to five days after). The pills are sold under the name Plan B, Plan B One-Step, Next Choice and ella. EC can be up to 75 – 89-percent effective if taken within 72-120 hours and for most brands is more effective the sooner it is taken. ella, however, is fully effective for all 5 days.

Plan B One-Step is available for sale over-the-counter at pharmacies for anyone regardless of age.

Plan B One-Step emergency contraception is not effective at preventing pregnancy in people over 176 pounds. If you weigh over 176 pounds and need emergency contraception, you should speak to a health care provider about possibly using another emergency contraceptive pill or a copper IUD.

Next Choice, Next Choice One Dose, My Way and Levonorgestrel are approved for sale without a prescription to those who are 17 and older from a pharmacist. If you are 16 or younger, you will need a prescription for Next Choice, Next Choice One Dose, My Way and Levonorgestrel. The EC pill ella is only available with a prescription regardless of age. Prices may vary for each of these options depending on the brand, the pharmacy and which state you are in.

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