Skip to content

    Birth Control Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Emergency Contraception

    Emergency contraception -- also called postcoital contraception -- is a form of birth control that may be used by women who have had unprotected sex or used a birth control method that failed. The treatment generally is reserved for specific situations and is not a regular method of birth control. Emergencies include being raped, having a condom break or slip off during sex, or missing two or more birth control pills during a monthly cycle. Emergency contraception is used to prevent a pregnancy, not end one. Emergency contraception does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. It is not RU-466, the medication used to induce abortions.

    Plan B One-Step is a specifically packaged emergency contraception. It is available to anyone over the counter without a prescription or age restrictions.

    Recommended Related to Birth Control

    What Birth Control Is OK When You’re Breastfeeding?

    Your new baby is here, and you know that you’re not ready to get pregnant again. So what type of birth control is best while you breastfeed? You have a little time to decide. Most doctors recommend that new moms not have sex until after the 6-week checkup. So, you may not even need birth control before your baby is 6 weeks old. When the time comes, you'll have a lot of options for contraception.

    Read the What Birth Control Is OK When You’re Breastfeeding? article > >

    Ella is a non-hormonal pill. It contains ulipristal, a non-hormonal drug that blocks the effects of key hormones necessary for conception. It is available only by prescription.

    How Does It Work?

    Plan B One-Step emergency contraception may prevent pregnancy by temporarily blocking eggs from being released, by stopping fertilization, or by keeping a fertilized egg from becoming implanted in the uterus. Plan B One-Step is taken in one dose with one pill. Its effectiveness depends on how soon you take the pill. It should be taken as soon as possible -- within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse. When Plan B One-Step is taken as directed, it can reduce the chance of pregnancy by close to 90%.

    Ella can be taken up to 120 hours after sex. It is taken as one tablet in one dose.

    An IUD can be inserted to prevent pregnancy. The device works by stopping implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus within 5 to 7 days after unprotected intercourse.

    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    IUD
    Here's what to expect.
    man opening condom wrapper
    Do you know the right way to use them?
     
    birth control pills
    Here's what to do next.
    intimate couple in bed
    Take this quiz.
     
    Road sign reading change ahead
    Article
    teen couple holding hands
    Article
     
    pregnancy test and calendar
    Article
    Birth Control Pills Weight Gain
    Article
     
    contraceptive pills
    Slideshow
    Young couple looking at each other, serious
    Article
     
    woman reading pregnancy test result
    Article
    calendar
    Article