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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 potentially prevent pregnancy after condomless 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. Plan B (or levonorgestrel): this option is available over the counter at most pharmacies and does not require a prescription. Plan B is somewhat effective if taken within 3 days of condomless sex, but may be less effective if you weigh over 165lbs. Plan B works by preventing or delaying ovulation, and without an egg present a pregnancy can’t form, but if you have already ovulated, Plan B will not be effective.
  2. Ella (or ulipristal acetate): this option is available only with a prescription from a provider. Ella is more effective than Plan B if taken within 5 days of condomless sex, but may be less effective if you weigh over 195lbs. Ella works by preventing or delaying ovulation and makes it difficult for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterine lining and grow into a pregnancy.

*EC pills may PREVENT a pregnancy from occurring after condomless sex but will not harm an existing pregnancy and are NOT the same thing as an abortion.

  1. Copper IUD (Paragard) or an 8-year progestin IUD (Mirena/Liletta): This option requires an appointment in a health clinic because the IUD needs to be placed by a health care provider in your uterus within 5 days of condomless sex. Both kinds of IUDs work as emergency contraception 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 will not harm an existing pregnancy and is not the same thing as an abortion.

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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