Emergency Contraception

There are four different choices of emergency contraception: Copper IUD (ParaGard), Ella, Plan B, and Next Choice. These are used when other types of birth control fail or a couple has unprotected sex and there is a possibility of pregnancy. All methods of emergency contraception (EC) may be sued while nursing a baby. They work by stopping the ovaries from releasing an egg or stop sperm from joining the egg. EC will stop a pregnancy before it start. It does not end a pregnancy that has already started. It is not the same as an abortion pill.

Plan B and Next Choice: Both choices are a pill that you can take as soon as possible after each time you have unprotected sex. Taking the pill does not protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or another possible pregnancy if you have unprotected sex again. Plan B/Next Choice should be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, but can be taken up to 5 days later. The longer you wait to the pill, the less likely it is that it will stop a pregnancy. Plan B/Next Choice are available to anyone, regardless, of age at a local pharmacy without a prescription or doctor’s visit.

Ella: This choice is a pill that can be taken within 5 days after unprotected sex, but the sooner you take it the better it is at preventing a pregnancy. A prescription is required for women of any age to receive this medication.

Copper IUD (ParaGard): This method involves a copper “T” shaped device that is placed in the uterus through vagina. The procedure requires an office visit and can be placed in the office. This method can be can be used up to 5 days after unprotected sex and is the most effective form of emergency contraception. In addition, it can be used to protect you from pregnancy for up to ten years after it is placed and can be removed at any time.