Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About...
Impact of Emergency Contraception
If men know women can use emergency contraceptives, will they be less likely to use condoms?
Studies have shown that making it easier for women to get emergency contraceptive pills (sometimes called "morning after pills" or "day after pills") does not lead couples to use condoms any less often. This is an important finding because both emergency contraception and condoms can prevent pregnancy, but only condoms can also protect you against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV. So if you might be at risk of being exposed to a sexually transmitted disease, it is critical that you still use condoms. You are more likely to be at risk if you aren’t sure your partner is STD free, if you or your partner might have sex with someone else, or if you are made to have sex against your will.
Emergency contraception might actually help you feel much more certain about relying on a condom for birth control because it means you can have a “back up” plan if the condom slips or breaks when you are having sex. Keep in mind that if you use a condom and it does not break or slip off, you don’t need emergency contraception.
A thorough and up-to-date academic review of the medical and social science literature on emergency contraception, including research into how access to emergency contraceptive pills might affect use of regular birth control, is available here .