- Emergency contraception pills, commonly called the morning-after pill. There are two types of pills:
- Levonorgestrel pills, including the brands Next Choice One Dose and Plan B One-Step
- Ulipristal acetate, known by the brand name ella
- ParaGard IUD insertion
Both kinds of emergency contraception can be used up to five days (120 hours) after unprotected intercourse. You may want to use it if
- you weren’t using any birth control when you had sex
- you forgot to take your birth control pills, patch, ring, or other birth control method
- your partner’s condom broke or slipped off
- your partner didn’t pull out in time or
- you were forced to have unprotected vaginal sex.
How Does the Morning-After Pill (Emergency Contraception) Work?
What About the Copper IUD as Emergency Contraception?
How Effective Is the Morning-After Pill (Emergency Contraception)?
The morning-after pill will not prevent pregnancy for any unprotected sex you may have after taking the pills.
However, the ParaGard IUD can be used as highly effective, ongoing birth control for as long as you want, up to 12 years after insertion.
Levonogestrel pills may not work as well for women who have a body mass index (BMI) of more than 25. The IUD or ella are better options for overweight women who need emergency contraception.
Does My Weight Affect Which Kind of Emergency Contraception I Can Use?
If the IUD or ella aren’t options for you, it’s perfectly safe to take Plan B One-Step or Next Choice One Dose. But if you have a body mass index (BMI) that’s higher than 25, it’s less effective. If you have a body mass index (BMI) that’s higher than 30, it may not work at all.
How Safe Is the Morning-After Pill (Emergency Contraception)?
What Are the Disadvantages of the Morning-After Pill (Emergency Contraception)?
- an earlier or later, heavier or lighter period than usual
- breast tenderness, dizziness, or headaches, and
- nausea or vomiting. If you vomit within two hours of taking the pill(s), it won’t be effective and you need to take it again.
Frequent use may cause periods to become irregular and unpredictable. Emergency contraception should not be used as a form of ongoing birth control because there are other forms of birth control that are a lot more effective and less expensive.
Emergency contraception does not protect against sexually transmitted infections. You may want to consider getting tested if there is a possibility that unprotected sex put you at risk.
How Do I Get the Morning-After Pill (Emergency Contraception)?
You can also get emergency contraception at a Planned Parenthood health center, or family planning clinic. If you want ella, you can also go to http://www.ella-kwikmed.com/ to get a prescription and buy ella online.
Since emergency contraception works better the sooner you take it, it’s a good idea to get emergency contraception before you need it just in case. That way you’ll have it on hand if an accident happens, and you won’t have to worry about running out to a drugstore or waiting to get an appointment for a prescription.
How Much Does the Morning-After Pill (Emergency Contraception) Cost?
Call your local Planned Parenthood health center to get specific information on costs.
How Do I Use the Morning-After Pill (Emergency Contraception)?
After you take emergency contraception, it’s normal for your next period to be different from usual.
- It may be earlier or later than usual.
- It may be heavier, lighter, more spotty, or the same as usual.
Be sure to tell any health care provider that you may see before your next period that you have taken the morning-after pill. If you do not have your period within three weeks after taking emergency contraception, or if you have any symptoms of pregnancy, take a pregnancy test or schedule an appointment with your health care provider.