Reproductive Health, Uncategorized, Women's Health , ,

The Morning After Pill (and more): options for emergency contraception


Did the condom break? Did you forget to take your pill a few times this month and have unprotected sex? Were you somehow coerced into having unprotected sex? Did you know that you can stop a pregnancy before it starts using emergency contraception? Here’s a quick guide to the available methods listed in order of effectiveness.

Copper IUD (ParaGard IUD)

  • The most effective form of emergency contraception
  • Can be inserted within 5 days of unprotected sex
  • Will lower chance of pregnancy by 99.9%
  • You can keep using this to prevent pregnancy for up to 12 years after insertion


  • Newest form of emergency contraception in the United States
  • Blocks the hormones your body needs to conceive
  • Requires a prescription from a doctor or nurse
  • Works up to 5 days after unprotected sex and does not decrease in effectiveness over those 5 days
  • After using, use back-back up birth control (such as condoms) for 14 days
  • May not work as well if you need emergency contraception because you made a mistake with your birth control pills

Plan B or Next Choice

  • Available over the counter or online without a prescription
  • Works up to 5 days after unprotected sex, but effectiveness decreases each day
  • Do not use if you have already used ella since your last period

Remember that you cannot use two different kinds of emergency contraceptives at the same time and that you should not take more than one dose of emergency contraception. Also remember that this is emergency contraception, and these methods should not be used as your normal contraceptive method (unless of course you choose to leave the copper IUD in). Also, emergency contraception is intended to prevent a pregnancy before it starts and is not intended to terminate an already existing pregnancy.

Visit the Planned Parenthood website for more information.