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Gynecology Services


Emergency Birth Control


Emergency Contraception

Emergency Contraception, (also known as the "morning after pill"), is used to prevent pregnancy when a woman's birth control was not used, was used incorrectly, when a condom breaks or slips off, when a diaphragm becomes dislodged, or when no contraception was used during forced sex (rape). It is not to be used on a routine basis because it is not as effective as regular birth control pills

On average, about 8 out of 100 women become pregnant when they have sex without using birth control. Emergency contraception can reduce this risk by at least 75%. This means that only 2 out of 100 women will get pregnant if they take emergency contraception correctly after having unprotected sex.

The hormones in emergency contraception disrupt the normal pattern in a woman's cycle. Depending on where a woman is in her menstrual cycle and when the pills are given, they may:

How It Works


  • Prevent or delay ovulation
  • Block fertilization.

Ideally, these pills must be taken within 3 days (72 hours) but no longer than 5 days (120 hours) after having unprotected sex.


Where to Get It




 If you are over 18, emergency contraception can be bought in pharmacies without a prescription by asking the pharmacist. If you are under 18, you will have to see a doctor or go to a family planning clinic or hospital.


Keep in mind that emergency contraception does not prevent sexual transmitted diseases. If you still become pregnant, talk to your doctor.

Click here for more information. (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)