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The Emergency Contraception Website - Your website for the "Morning After"

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About...

Please choose from the following Main Categories of Questions:

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Types of Emergency Contraception
What brands of emergency contraception are available in the United States?
What brands of emergency contraceptive pills are available around the world?
Which birth control pills can be used for emergency contraception in the United States?
Which daily birth control pills can be used for emergency contraception worldwide?
Can I use any birth control pills for emergency contraception?

What about the copper IUD?

What is the difference between emergency contraception, the "morning after pill", and the "day after pill"?

When would I use ella instead of progestin-only EC (like Plan B One-Step, Next Choice One Dose, or Levonorgestrel Tablets)?

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How to Get Emergency Contraception
Where can I get emergency contraception?

Do I need a prescription to get EC?
Do I need ID to buy EC?

Can I get EC online?
Should I get EC pills to keep in my medicine cabinet, just in case?
How much does EC cost?
Is EC covered under the Affordable Care Act (health care reform)?

If I am a teenager (under 17 years old), can I get emergency contraception in the United States without my parents’ knowledge or consent?

Can men buy EC?
Can I get emergency contraception at a Catholic hospital?

What is the history of efforts to make EC available OTC in the United States?

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When to Use Emergency Contraception
When might I need to use emergency contraception?
Who uses emergency contraception?
Do I need emergency contraception if I missed one or more of my regular birth control pills?

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How to Use Emergency Contraception
How do I use emergency contraceptive pills?
What doses should I take of oral contraceptives that can be used for emergency contraception?
How long do I have after sex to take emergency contraceptive pills?
What if I take the second dose of emergency contraceptive pills late?

What if I take the second dose first?

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How Emergency Contraception Works
How does emergency contraception prevent pregnancy?
Does emergency contraception cause an abortion?
How are emergency contraceptive pills different from the abortion pill (Mifeprex, also referred to as RU-486)?

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Risk of Pregnancy
What is my risk of getting pregnant if I have sex without using contraception or my birth control fails?
Can I get pregnant if I have unprotected sex but the man does not ejaculate (cum)?
Am I still at risk of pregnancy if I have sex after taking emergency contraceptive pills?
When can I take a pregnancy test and be sure that it is accurate?

If I have what appears to be a normal period, can I still be pregnant?

Is implantation a cause of bleeding?

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Side Effects
What are the side effects of emergency contraceptive pills?
If I do not have any side effects, does that mean the emergency contraceptive pills are not working?
What if I bleed after taking emergency contraceptive pills?
When should I expect my next period after I take emergency contraceptive pills?

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Effectiveness
How effective is emergency contraception?
If I drink alcohol after taking emergency contraceptive pills, will they be less effective?
Are emergency contraceptive pills effective for overweight or obese women?

If I am using enzyme inducers (such as Dilantin, the antibiotics rifampicin or griseofulvin, or St. John’s Wort), will it make emergency contraceptive pills less effective? Are the instructions for using the pills different?

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Safety
Is emergency contraception safe?
Can I use emergency contraception even if I’ve been told I shouldn’t use daily birth control pills?
Do emergency contraceptive pills increase my risk of having an ectopic pregnancy (that’s when the pregnancy is outside the uterus)?
Can emergency contraceptive pills cause birth defects?
Can I use emergency contraceptive pills if I am breastfeeding?
Is there a limit to the number of times I can use emergency contraceptive pills?

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Impact of Emergency Contraception

Why is emergency contraception important?
Will women stop using other forms of birth control if emergency contraception is really easy to get?
If men know women can use emergency contraceptives, will they be less likely to use condoms?

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Can't find the answer to your question?
Ask James: send your question to James Trussell, founder of this website, at askjames@princeton.edu.

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This website is operated by the Office of Population Research at Princeton University and by the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals and has no connection with any pharmaceutical company or for-profit organization.

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