Facts about E.C.

  • It is also known as the morning after pill.
  • It helps prevent pregnancy when used within 5 days of having unprotected sex.
  • The sooner you use it, the more effective it is.
  • It is not effective as ongoing contraception.
  • It does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
  • There are some circumstances in which a woman should not take E.C. For instance, if you have an allergy to progestin or serious liver disease. We would be happy to discuss these with you.


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Emergency Contraception

(E.C. or "morning after pill")

Preterm provides one-dose Plan B emergency contraception for $30 ($25 with coupon) during clinic hours when a nurse is on duty. Call ahead to be sure a nurse will be available.

One-dose Plan B is 95% effective when taken within 24 hours after unprotected sex. Consider keeping some on hand for emergencies.

About E.C.

Unlike abortion, which terminates a pregnancy, emergency contraception prevents pregnancy. As the name implies, it is not something you should use for regular birth control. Rather, it is an "emergency" method to prevent pregnancy if you've had intercourse and didn't use birth control or your birth control failed.

To be effective, you need to take E.C. as soon as possible and no more than 120 hours (5 days) after unprotected intercourse.

The sooner you use it, the more effective it is.

How E.C. Works

E.C. is not the same as a medication abortion. Pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants in the lining of the uterus.  E.C. can prevent the fertilized egg from implanting in the lining of the uterus or it can prevent the release of an egg.

About a fourth of the women who use E.C. experience nausea, and a small percentage experience vomiting. Some women also experience breast tenderness, abdominal pain, and headaches. These side effects go away within a day or two.

You should have a normal period in 2 to 3 weeks. If not, you may be pregnant and can call us to explore your options.

What If E.C. Fails?

If E.C. fails to prevent a pregnancy, you can call Preterm to discuss your options.

There is no evidence that E.C. causes birth defects, but if you think you would prefer not to have an abortion, you should weigh the risks of exposing the fetus to hormones if E.C. fails.

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