Emergency contraception medication can be given up to five days after a situation where contraceptive protection was compromised, such as condom failure or a missed birth control pill, unprotected sex or sexual assault. Statistics show emergency contraception is most effective if taken as close to the incident as possible. The medication, known as Plan B is available to those over 17 years of age at local pharmacies without a prescription.
What Is Emergency Contraception?
Emergency contraception is a strong dose of hormones. If taken soon enough, it can delay ovulation or inhibit fertilization, thus preventing an unintended pregnancy. Emergency contraception is now available without a prescription for women 18 and over (women under 17 still need a prescription).
When Should I Take It?
The answer to this is always, as soon as possible. Emergency contraception is intended to be taken up to three days after unprotected intercourse. It is important to remember that it loses effectiveness the longer you wait! Studies show that emergency contraception can be as long as five days after unprotected intercourse, however the effectiveness is relatively low.
What If I am Already Pregnant?
Emergency contraception will not harm an existing pregnancy. It is solely designed to prevent unintended pregnancy.
Where Can I Get Emergency Contraception?
Emergency contraception is sold over the counter at most pharmacies for around $40. It may not be out on a shelf, you may have to ask the pharmacist for it.
Important to Mention…
Emergency contraception does not prevent you from contracting STIs or HIV. Speak with your physician about long term methods of birth control, and remember to use condoms with every act of oral, anal and vaginal intercourse to prevent sexually transmitted infections.