Emergency Contraception

Can you tell me more about emergency contraception?

Emergency contraception (EC) is a way of reducing the chance of pregnancy following an episode of unprotected (non-contracepted) intercourse. This can also include condom breakage or spillage.

There are several regimens that can be used. Recent studies suggest that EC can be used within 5 days (120 hours) of unprotected sex. Preven is an EC regimen containing estrogen and progesterone, 2 pills taken twice–12 hours apart. Plan B contains progesterone only–1 pill taken twice, 12 hours apart. Either of these is effective, though Plan B causes less nausea. After using any EC prescription, you’ll need to check a pregnancy test if your period is more than a week late or if you have symptoms of pregnancy (nausea, breast tenderness, frequent urination).

At best, EC is only 70 percent effective–it does not replace standard contraception (pills, patches, rings, and Depo-Provera are all over 95 percent effective in preventing pregnancy when used properly). Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you should have an EC prescription. More information is available here.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Most Common Causes of Pelvic Pain

Pelvic pain is a common condition among women of childbearing age. Learn the symptoms and causes of pelvic pain so you can find out how to get relief.

Are Fibroids Normal (And What Can I Do About Them)?

While some women don't suffer any effects from uterine fibroids, many deal with persistent discomfort. Learn about the range of treatment options — from medication to surgery — that can help you bid farewell to fibroids forever.

What Is Uterine Fibroid Embolization?

If you’re experiencing pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, or fertility problems due to uterine fibroids, a minimally invasive procedure known as uterine fibroid embolization can reduce or eliminate your symptoms.

Hysterectomies Have Come a Long Way Thanks to Laparoscopy

One in three women in the United States can expect to have a hysterectomy by their 60th birthday. Find out how advanced laparoscopic surgical techniques have made the procedure quicker, less invasive, and easier to recover from than ever before.