Prescription or OTCMultiple hormonesClass: Hormonal

Emergency Contraception

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6.065934065934066Emergency Contraception
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Our bottom line

Emergency contraception is commonly known as "the morning after pill," which works by delaying or preventing ovulation. Less common methods of EC are the copper IUD and the Yuzpe method. Emergency contraception IS NOT the abortion pill.

What’s the failure rate?
of people using this method got pregnant in a year

This method is ranked 5 out of 17 birth control methods listed. The lower the number, the better.Source

More birth control methods


  • Your most reliable first step after accidents like unprotected sex or failed birth control.
  • Up to 5 days of very effective pregnancy prevention after sex – but some methods may decrease in effectiveness over time.
  • Certain emergency contraception is more effective the sooner it's taken, so some women choose to have a box on hand – just in case.


  • Can cause short-term irregular bleeding and cramps.
  • May cause nausea and vomiting.
  • Does not protect from STDs.
  • Emergency contraception should be a last resort – it should not be used regularly as an everyday birth control.
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Side effect rates for Emergency Contraception

0 reports
These are side effects of Emergency Contraception (All) reported to the FDA by people taking it, and by doctors and pharmacists.