Emergency Contraception Pills (ECPs) are a method of preventing pregnancy after unprotected sex. ECPs are most effective when taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex but can be effective taken up to five days later. It has been found that if the ECP is taken with 72 hours after having unprotected sex the risk of pregnancy is reduced by 89%.
ECPs work by preventing the egg from leaving the ovary and the sperm from joining the egg. ECPs do not keep fertilized eggs from attaching to the uterus, and they are not effective if taken after a woman is already pregnant.
Plan B®, Next Choice®, Levonorgestrel, and ella® are currently the only products marketed specifically as emergency contraceptive pills in the United States. Plan B®, Next Choice® and Levonorgestrel are available without a doctor’s prescription for women 17 and older. All women, regardless of age, must obtain a prescription for ella®.
Contact Philadelphia Women’s Center for assistance in obtaining a prescription