Emergency Contraception (Plan B or the Morning After Pill)

Emergency contraception is a medication that can be used to help prevent pregnancy after you have unprotected sex. One type of emergency contraception is called the morning after pill, or Plan B. Plan B is a pill that contains a dose of progesterone, which is a naturally occurring hormone, and works by delaying ovulation, or the release of an egg from the ovary. It is available over the counter at many pharmacies, and also by prescription. If taken as soon as possible after having unprotected sex it is > 95% effective at preventing pregnancy. It is recommended to take a pregnancy test two weeks after taking the morning after pill, as there is still a small possibility of becoming pregnant. The morning after pill is different from the abortion pill and the morning after pill won't work if you are already pregnant.

Side effects can include nausea, headaches, and irregular bleeding. Your next period might come later than normal.

The morning after pill is meant to be used only for emergencies. It is not meant to be taken every day like the birth control pill. If you find that you are taking it more than once a month you should make an appointment to discuss your birth control options.

Another option for emergency contraception is the copper IUD, or paragard. If you had unprotected sex but desire an IUD, the paragard can be inserted up to 5 days later and is greater than 98% effective at preventing pregnancy.

If you had unprotected sex or a condom broke, give us a call to make an appointment to discuss your options!


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