Emergency Contraception: “Morning After Pill”

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Emergency contraception is not just a “morning-after pill.”

New Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Guidelines implemented in March 2016 regarding the use of drugs to induce an abortion, can be found at the following link on their website regarding the use of Mifeprex to end an early pregnancy: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm111323.htm

Emergency contraceptives available in the United States include: ella, which works best when taken within 72 hours, but should be taken as soon as possible.

Emergency contraception pills can reduce the risk of pregnancy up to 120 hours after unprotected sex, but they work best when taken within 72 hours. They do not protect against sexually transmitted infections. Emergency contraception can be used when a condom breaks, after a sexual assault, or any time unprotected sexual intercourse occurs. Do not use emergency contraceptives as your only protection against pregnancy if you are sexually active or planning to be, because they are not as effective as any ongoing contraceptive

In the United States, there are several different brands of emergency contraceptive pills that may be available in pharmacies.  There are different regulations on how to buy these pills.  Not all pharmacies stock all of these, so be sure to call ahead.

HOW TO FIND EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTIVES:

If you need a prescription for EC:

Emergency contraception may also be available in health clinics, the offices of private physicians, and in hospital emergency rooms.

EFFECTIVENESS OF ECPs

Two time factors influence the efficacy of ECPs: the amount of time elapsed after unprotected intercourse, and the point in a woman’s cycle at which she had sex. They are not as effective as correct and consistent use of contraceptive methods such as the Pill, IUD, or contraceptive implants or injections, and they do not protect against sexually transmitted infections.

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SOURCES: Planned Parenthood: Emergency Contraception; and The Emergency Contraception Website
PREPARED BY: 2-1-1/mm
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: March2017