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Birth Control Health Center

Emergency Contraception FAQ

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How much will it cost?

Prices vary from store to store. A survey found that the average cost for Plan B One-Step is $48. Generic levonorgestrel is a little cheaper at $42. But you might find prices that are much lower or higher. If you have insurance, prescription pills should cost less because you have to pay only the copay.

What are the side effects? Is it safe?

Emergency contraception is safe. Most people don't have any side effects from the pills. But you may have mild ones, like nausea, mild stomach pain, and headache. If you have severe nausea, your doctor may be able to give you medicine that helps. You may also have spotting, and your next period may come a few days earlier or later.

What if I throw up after taking the medication? Am I still protected?

Emergency contraception pills can sometimes cause vomiting. As long as you throw up more than two hours after you took it, you should be fine. The medicine should be in your system. If you throw up within two hours of taking it, call your doctor or pharmacist. You may need to take a drug to settle your stomach and then take a second dose of the emergency contraception.

What if I'm already pregnant and take emergency contraception?

If you think you're already pregnant, don't take emergency contraception. The hormones in Plan B One-Step or generic levonorgestrel won't work at that point. You should not take Ella if you think you might be pregnant. It may not be safe.

Will taking more than one type of emergency contraception improve my odds?

No. One kind could block the effect of the other. Stick to one type and follow the directions.

How long does an emergency contraception pill last? Can I have sex again and still be protected?

Be careful. The pills may just delay ovulation, not stop it. If you have sex a second time, your risks of getting pregnant are higher. Be safe and use other protection instead.

Can I use emergency contraception pills more than once in a month?

You should use Ella only once in your cycle. You can use Plan B One-Step and generic levonorgestrel more than once. But if you're relying on it often, you should use regular birth control instead.

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