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Emergency Contraception

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If you have engaged in unprotected intercourse or your primary method of birth control has failed, you can use emergency contraception (EC) to help prevent pregnancy. Emergency contraception should not be used as your regular/only form of birth control because it is not (a) as effective or (b) as affordable as regular, non-emergency types of birth control.

Some examples of when you might need to use EC:

  • You did not use a barrier method or other hormonal birth control method when you had vaginal sex.

  • A mistake was made with your regular hormonal birth control (you forgot to take your birth control pills, get your shot on time, or change your ring or patch) and you had vaginal sex.

  • The condom slipped off or broke after ejaculation.

  • Your partner didn't pull out in time.

  • You were coerced/forced to have unprotected vaginal sex.

Types of Emergency Contraception

There are two options for emergency contraception:

  • Emergency Contraceptive IUDS

    Brand Name: Paragard, Mirena, and Liletta
    Most effective type of emergency contraception, but only available through a healthcare provider. Continue to prevent pregancy for 8 to 12 years Effectiveness Lowers your chances of getting pregnant by 99.9 percent if inserted within 5 days of unprotected sex. The sooner it can be inserted the better it will work.
    Conditions This form of EC must be placed by a healthcare provider so contact your local clinic, primary care doctor, or closest Planned Parenthood health center as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.
    Implementation Inserted by a healthcare provider within 5 days of unprotected sex. Must also be removed by a healthcare provider

    Lean More About Emergency Contraceptive IUDs
  • Emergency Contraception Pills (Morning-After Pill)

    Type 1: Contains ulipristal acetate.

    Brand Name: Ella
    Most effective type of EC pill, but only available through prescription from a healthcare provider. Effectiveness Lowers your chances of getting pregnant by 85% when taken within 5 days of having unprotected sex. The sooner it can be taken the better it works.
    Conditions Ella does not work as effectively for people weighing over 195 pounds.
    Implementation Taken orally within 5 days of unprotected sex. Do not take more than 1 dose of ella at once.

    Lean More About Ella

    Type 2: Contains levonorgestrel.

    Brand Name: Plan B One Step, Take Action, My Way, Option 2, Preventeza, AfterPill, My Choice, and more.
    You can buy these pills over-the-counter without a prescription. Effectiveness Lowers your chances of getting pregnant by 75-89% when taken within 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected vaginal sex. Like the other EC pill, the sooner you take it, the better.
    Conditions These pills do not work as effectively for people weighing over 175 pounds. Should not be taken if you’ve taken ella in the last 5 days.
    Implementation Taken orally within 3 days of unprotected sex. Do not take more than 1 dose of PLan B at once. These pills can be purchased OTC, you do not need a prescription or to show your ID.

    Lean More About Plan B

Availability on Campus

The Mountaineer Pharmacy, located on the Evansdale campus on the ground floor of the Student Health Building, sells the brand "My Choice" for $15 over-the-counter.

WVU Student Health Services is able to prescribe the Ella brand pill, the prescription for which can be filled through the Mountaineer Pharmacy.

For more information on emergency contraception, visit Planned Parenthood's EC education site.

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