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What is emergency contraception?

ANSWER

Emergency contraception is for use after unprotected sex or if your condom breaks. It can prevent pregnancy up to 3 to 5 days later, although the sooner you take it, the better.

Most emergency contraception products are so-called "morning after" pills, but the copper-T IUD works as emergency contraception, too. Women who weigh 165 pounds or more and want emergency contraception should use the IUD, since research shows that the pills start to lose effectiveness for them.

SOURCES:

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “Birth Control Pills.”

CDC: "Contraception."

Kelly Cleland, MPA, MPH, researcher, Office of Population Research, Princeton University.

KidsHealth: "How Can Condoms Break?" "How Can You Tell if a Condom Has Expired?" and "What if a Condom Breaks?"

UpToDate: "Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)."

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: "Tips for Using Condoms and Dental Dams."

Women'sHealth.gov: "Birth Control Methods Fact Sheet."

Healthy Canadians web site.

UpToDate.com: "Emergency Contraception." "Intrauterine Contraception."

PlanBOneStep.com.

MyNextChoiceOneDose.com.

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on June 07, 2018

SOURCES:

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “Birth Control Pills.”

CDC: "Contraception."

Kelly Cleland, MPA, MPH, researcher, Office of Population Research, Princeton University.

KidsHealth: "How Can Condoms Break?" "How Can You Tell if a Condom Has Expired?" and "What if a Condom Breaks?"

UpToDate: "Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)."

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: "Tips for Using Condoms and Dental Dams."

Women'sHealth.gov: "Birth Control Methods Fact Sheet."

Healthy Canadians web site.

UpToDate.com: "Emergency Contraception." "Intrauterine Contraception."

PlanBOneStep.com.

MyNextChoiceOneDose.com.

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on June 07, 2018

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What is permanent birth control?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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