Emergency Contraception is commonly known as “Plan B,” “Next Choice,” “ella,” or “Morning After Pill

About Emergency Contraception

Emergency contraception is NOT the same as abortion. Instead, EC prevents conception of a pregnancy. Since sperm can remain active in the body for up to 5 days, EC reduces risk of pregnancy.  It works by preventing ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovaries). If ovulation has already begun and pregnancy occurred, EC will not work.  In this case, you will remain pregnant.

Women and men of any age can purchase most EC brands (Plan-B, Next Choice and generics) over the counter, at a local pharmacy, without a prescription or ID.

Patients can also purchase inexpensive EC from their local Summit Center.

Patients can take EC up to 120 hours (5 days) after unprotected intercourse!

Consider taking emergency contraception if:

  1. You did not use birth control or you forgot to take your birth control pills, patch, or ring on time
  2. You take medicine(s) that could decrease the effectiveness of your birth control
  3. Your partner used the “pulling out” method of pregnancy prevention. (“Pulling out” will NOT protect you from pregnancy. Pre-ejaculate contains semen and sperm, and can result in pregnancy.)
  4. You were forced to have unprotected intercourse
  5. The condom, broke, slipped off, or your partner removed it without your consent or knowledge.

How to use emergency contraception:

  1. Purchase and take EC as soon as possible after unprotected sex or birth control failure. Sooner is better, though you may take EC up to 5 days after intercourse. Follow the instructions that come with your EC. For most brands, simply take one or two pills at one time.
  2. Since some people get slight nausea when taking EC. Therefore, we recommend eating before taking it.
  3. After taking EC, your period may be irregular, and it may be later or earlier than expected, or you may notice spotting throughout the month. This is common, and if you do not get a regular period after three weeks of taking EC, take a pregnancy test. Contact your local Summit Center about free same-day pregnancy testing.

More information about EC and other birth control:

Bedsider EC