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Emergency Contraception

What Does It Do?

Prevents a pregnancy after unprotected sex.

What’s In The Pills? How Do They Work?

  • Most brands of EC contain progestin, one of the hormones found in daily birth control pills.
  • ella(R) contains a hormone that mimics and blocks progestin.
  • EC works by delaying ovulation.

When Do You Take It?

The sooner you take emergency contraception, the better it works. (ella(R)  works just as well 5 days after sex as it does the first day). EC works up to five days after unprotected sex. Some packs contain one pill, and some packs contain two pills. You can take the two pills together.

What Happens to Your Body?

Most women feel fine. Some women have nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, stomach cramps or breast pain for a short time after taking the pills. Your next period may come a few days early or a few days late.

How Well Does It Work?

EC lowers your chance of getting pregnant by 59 to 90 percent.

How Do You Find It?

Women 17 and older can get progestin EC at a pharmacy without a prescription. Women under 17 need a prescription to get emergency contraception.