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Emergency Contraception

Emergency Contraception (EC) can stop a pregnancy before it starts.  EC pills are NOT “abortion pills”.  There are four types of EC to choose from and they all work up to five (5) days (or 120 hours) after unprotected sex. The sooner you use EC after having unprotected sex, the more effective it will be at preventing pregnancy.  The Family Planning Clinic can help you access the best EC method for you.  Also, remember, for fast access to EC…EC pills are available from drug stores without a prescription.

Types of Emergency Contraception


This is the most effective EC there is. Have a provider insert it within 5 days of having unprotected sex and lower your chance of pregnancy by 99.9%.


The newest form of EC in the U.S. is a one-pill formula available by prescription. Ella blocks the hormones your body needs to conceive. Ella works up to 5 days after unprotected sex and, unlike other EC pills, doesn’t decrease in effectiveness during those 5 days.


Plan B One-Step, Next Choice One Dose, Next Choice, EContra EZ, My Way, After Pill… These one-dose pills are available without a prescription from drug stores, online, or at the Family Planning Clinic.  They are similar to birth control pills but have a higher dose of the hormone.  These pills can work up to 5 days after unprotected sex, but effectiveness decreases each day so it’s important to take them as soon as possible after having unprotected sex.


You can use certain prescription birth control pills as EC if you follow the Yuzpe Regimen guidelines, though it’s not as effective as other EC options. The Yuzpe method works best up to 3 days following unprotected sex. After that, it’s much less effective.