Didn't Use BC? Know How EC Works to Prevent Pregnancy

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So perhaps you used a condom and it ripped or you just didn’t use any form of birth control at all while having vaginal sex.  Or maybe you were a victim of rape. 

Whatever the case is, if any semen was spilled inside the vagina, you and your partner run a high risk of an unwanted pregnancy.  Keep in mind that one drop of semen contains millions of sperm cells, and it only takes one sperm cell to fertilize a female egg.  Now that’s a scary thought, right? 

Well luckily, there is a thing called emergency contraception.  Commonly referred to as Plan B, emergency contraception is a safe and effective way of preventing an unwanted pregnancy even after having unprotected sex.  EC is not the abortion pill and will not work if you are already pregnant, meaning after the egg has already been fertilized by the sperm.  EC also does not protect you from getting or giving an STD.  

Now you may be asking yourself, “How does the EC prevent a pregnancy?” 

Well it works by preventing or delaying ovulation in women.  Every month a woman ovulates and if that egg isn’t fertilized by a sperm cell, she will have a period.  That’s why one of the most common symptoms of being pregnant is not getting a period. Delay ovulation and there's no egg for the sperm to fertilize.

Depending on the brand of EC, you must take the pill within 72hrs (3 days) to 120 hrs (5 days) of engaging in unprotected sex.  However the sooner you take EC the more effective it will be. 

Trust me when I say that EC is not 100% effective and you can still get pregnant.  That’s why it’s called Emergency Contraception!!  EC is not a regular form of birth control and should only be taken in emergency situations.  Make sure to educate yourself on which form of regular birth control method is the best fit for your lifestyle and health needs. 

Remember that teens in the state of CA have the right to access EC for free or for a reduced cost at a local clinic or pharmacy store like Rite AID or CVS, etc.  Learn more regarding your right to reproductive health services.