Emergency contraception is birth control that prevents pregnancy after sex. It is sometimes called the morning after pill. If you think your birth control failed, you didn’t use contraception or you were forced to have sex, you can use emergency contraception right away or up to five days after sex.
The effectiveness rate for Emergency Contraception is 75% when used within 72 hours after having unprotected sex.
Emergency contraception is not as effective as birth control used before or during sex. This form of contraception should not be used as your only protection against pregnancy.
In the United States, emergency contraception pills are available without prescription for women and men 17 years of age and older. You may call your provider for advice and or a prescription that is specific for you. If you are unable to see your provider, you may visit a pharmacy and ask for “Plan B-one Step” or “Next Choice.”
As with any oral contraceptive, certain medications may reduce the overall effectiveness of this birth control method. Be sure to speak to your health care provider or pharmacist about your medications.
Never use this method of preventing unplanned pregnancy unless a urine pregnancy test has confirmed that you are not pregnant. If you know you are pregnant, do not use emergency contraception. Discuss your concerns with your health care provider immediately.
In addition to pregnant women, those with a medical history of high blood pressure, blood clots, or breast cancer should not use this method to prevent unplanned pregnancy.
Side effects to taking these extra high doses of hormones. These include cramping, nausea, and vomiting.