Prescription or OTCMultiple hormones

Emergency Contraception

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6.065934065934066Emergency Contraception
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Prescription or OTCMultiple hormones

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.

of people using this method got pregnant in a year


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

0 reports

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  • I took Plan B, and it didn't work for me. I ended up getting pregnant. I took it on the second day after having sex, because I believe day 1 was a Sunday and at the time it wasn't available OTC, so I had to wait until Planned Parenthood was open on Monday. It's important to know that this medication is less effective the longer you wait to take it after having sex.