Emergency Contraception

Emergency Contraception (EC) is a way to prevent pregnancy after sex. If you have sex without using a birth control method or if your birth control method fails, you can still try to prevent pregnancy by using EC. The sooner you use EC, the better your chances of not getting pregnant.

Emergency Contraception

Emergency Contraception (EC) is a way to prevent pregnancy after sex. If you have sex without using a birth control method or if your birth control method fails, you can still try to prevent pregnancy by using EC. The sooner you use EC, the better your chances of not getting pregnant.

There are currently 3 options for EC:

  1. Swallow a progestin EC pill (sold as Plan B) within 48 hours of unprotected sex. If you have BMI over 25, Plan B may not work as well.
  2. Swallow a ulipristal acetate pill (sold as Ella) within 5 days of unprotected sex. This method is slightly more effective than Plan B and does not decrease effectiveness based on your BMI.

EC pills work by delaying ovulation (keeping an egg from leaving an ovary) while sperm may still be alive in the tubes. If there is no egg to meet with sperm, you can’t get pregnant. ECPs will not stop the implantation of a fertilized egg and will not stop a pregnancy that has already started. It is not an abortion pill and does not cause an abortion. Oral EC will not harm you if you are already pregnant.

  1. Have a copper IUD (Paragard) placed by a health care provider in your uterus within 5 days of unprotected sex.

The copper IUD works mainly by keeping the sperm from getting to the egg (stops fertilization). If an egg has already been fertilized, it will keep it from attaching to the lining of the uterus (stops implantation). It is not an abortion. It will not stop an existing pregnancy.

The Lovering Health Center is available to help you access Emergency Contraception that is right for you. Contact our center during business hours at (603) 436-7588 and we will assist you with this process.

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