Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About...
How to Get Emergency Contraception
Where can I get EC?
In the U.S., Plan B One-Step is available without age restrictions to women and men (check the family planning aisle). One-pill generics (My Way and Next Choice One Dose) will soon be available on the shelf for consumers aged 17 and older, but this change has not taken effect yet; women 16 and younger still need a prescription. Two-pill generics (Levonorgestrel Tablets) are still available only behind the counter without prescription if you are 17 or older; younger women need a prescription.
In the United States, there are several different brands of emergency contraceptive pills (sometimes called the "morning after pill") that may be available in pharmacies. Unfortunately, it can be a bit confusing because there different regulations on how to buy these pills. Not all pharmacies stock all of these, so be sure to call ahead.
Plan B One-Step is sold on the shelf (check the family planning aisle) with no restrictions. That means anyone can buy it without having to show ID. Plan B One-Step generally costs about $40-50.
- Soon, the generic one-pill products (Next Choice One Dose and My Way) will be available on the shelf next to Plan B One-Step, but you need to be 17 to buy them. Be prepared to show ID to buy these products. These generics generally cost about $35-45.
- The generic two-pill products Levonorgestrel Tablets are still available only at the pharmacy counter. Women and men aged 17 or older can buy them without a prescription. If you are 16 or younger, you need a prescription.
- ella is sold by prescription only, regardless of age. You can also order ella through an online prescription service for $42, including next-day shipping.
Since not all pharmacies carry emergency contraception, we recommend that you call ahead to check availability. If you have a prescription for ella, it is important to call ahead to be sure that your pharmacy has it in stock. To find an EC provider near you, try our searchable database, or you can use this online prescription service to purchase ella.
Other health care providers - such as Planned Parenthood and health department clinics - also may have emergency contraceptive pills available for direct purchase.