It Takes Two to Know - What Guys Need to Know About EC

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Emergency Contraception (EC) is awesome! Accidents happen – condoms can break or slip, people can forget to take their pill, or partners may not use protection. Luckily, using EC after having unprotected sex or after your regular birth control has failed is an effective way of preventing pregnancy and it’s available over the counter! But a recent study showed LESS THAN HALF of young men have heard of EC. In a study of males ages 13 to 24, only 42 percent of them had heard of EC. (Check out the article here).

So, why don’t more young men know about it? Dr. Paritosh Kaul from the University of Colorado School of Medicine says, “we don’t talk to boys about emergency contraception that often…The boys are listening and health care providers need to talk to the boys.”

In that case, GUYS, LISTEN UP: it takes two to know. EC, in either the form of a hormonal pill or the insertion of a copper IUD, prevents the release of an egg and is effective up to 5 days after you have had unprotected sex. Young men can be empowered by getting actively involved in contraceptive decisions within their relationship, especially in preventing an unwanted pregnancy. Studies have shown that contraceptive use increases when males are involved in the decision making. 

It is important, in all relationships, that BOTH partners play a role in sexual health decisions and preventing unwanted pregnancies. However, only condom use will protect from STDs. Every relationship is different and unique, therefore every relationship has different needs. It’s your responsibility to educate yourself and communicate with your partner to find the contraceptive methods that work best for YOU. Fortunately, we have resources to help you do that. Check out our page on Birth Control to find out everything you need to know. We have tips for communicating with your partner about sex, and starting the conversation about birth control.

In the case that you and your partner DO need to use EC, make sure you know how to access it. It’s up to BOTH of you to take the necessary steps to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. You can buy most brands of EC over the counter, regardless of age or gender, and without parental consent. Some EC can cost up to fifty dollars. But, don’t worry because there are many family planning clinics or local healthcare providers that can provide EC for free! Find the nearest clinic to you here.

Your sexual health, and the decisions you and your partner make regarding it, is a shared responsibility. Emergency Contraception is an awesome option, but it takes two to know and you shouldn’t solely rely on it.

So remember:

  • EC is an awesome option in preventing unwanted pregnancy if your regular method of birth control has failed or you had unprotected sex.
  • EC can come in the form of a pill or the copper IUD, but only condoms will protect you from STDs.
  • In relationships, BOTH partners should be involved in deciding which methods of contraceptive to use. Getting involved in this decision can empower young men!
  • Not enough young men know about EC. It’s your responsibility to educate yourself and talk to your partner. It takes two to know.

EC is easily accessible over the counter, but many family planning clinics and local healthcare providers also provide it for free.