Emergency Contraception

Emergency Contraception

What is it?

Emergency Contraception is a pill you can take if you’ve had unprotected sex. It is a hormone pill that prevents the release of an egg. It does not cause abortion. It can be taken up to 5 days after you have had unprotected sex, but the sooner you take it the more effective it is. If you are already pregnant, it does not change anything or hurt the pregnancy in any way.


  • Easy to get— you can buy EC over the counter at most drugs stores if you are 17 years or older.  
  • It will not harm a pregnancy if you are already pregnant.


Who uses emergency contraception?

People use EC when they have had unprotected sex or their regular form of BC failed. It is best to take it 12 hours after unprotected sex, but can be taken up to 5 days afterward.

How do you use emergency contraception?

EC can be taken after unprotected sex or if your regular BC method failed: broken/slipped condom, slipped diaphragm, etc. It is best to take it 12 hours after unprotected sex, but can be taken up to 5 days afterwards. You can keep a prescription at home for emergencies.

Where do you get emergency contraception?

Luckily emergency contraception is available over the counter at your local pharmacy if you are 17 or older. You can also get EC from your healthcare provider. If you are under 17, you can get a prescription at a clinic without parental consent.

EC is 75% effective at preventing a pregnancy after unprotected sex. It works best if taken up to 12 hours after unprotected sex, but still works up to 5 days after unprotected sex. Chances of becoming pregnant increase with each day you wait.