UT Teen Health Health

Emergency Contraception

Emergency contraception

effectiveness

variable

 

Emergency contraception is NOT a regular method of birth control. Emergency contraception is a pill that can be taken by a woman up to 5 days after intercourse if no reliable birth control was being used or if the birth control method failed, such as if a condom broke. Emergency Contraceptive pills prevent pregnancy primarily by delaying or inhibiting ovulation and inhibiting fertilization, but may theoretically inhibit implantation of a fertilized egg.

Quick Facts!

Effectiveness

The effectiveness varies depending on many factors such as how soon after intercourse it is taken and whether ovulation has already occurred.

Side effects

Nausea and vomiting, fatigue, headache, breast tenderness, dizziness, diarrhea, lower abdominal pain, irregular bleeding.

Effort

Take as soon after intercourse as possible.

How do I get it?

Available over the counter to those 17 years of age or older, and by prescription if younger than 17 years.

Cost

From $35- $60.

STI reduction

None.

More about emergency contraception

STI reduction

None.

Commonly called “Plan B®” or “The Morning After Pill”

Emergency contraceptive pills contain either levonorgestrel (Plan B®, One-Step®, Next Choice® and Levonorgestrel Tablets) or ulipristal acetate (ella®).

Not the same as the “Abortion Pill” or RU-486

The “Abortion Pill” or mifepristone, which is sold in the United States under the brand name Mifeprex, works differently than emergency contraceptive pills. When given after a pregnancy has started, mifepristone stops the development of a pregnancy once a fertilized egg implants in the uterus. This drug is approved for use in early abortions in the United States.

Range from about $35 -$60 plus the cost of the doctor visit, if necessary.

The pill is to be taken as soon after intercourse where no reliable method was used, up to 5 days maximum.

Nausea and vomiting, fatigue, headache, breast tenderness, dizziness, diarrhea, lower abdominal pain, irregular bleeding