Emergency contraception is a method of birth control used after unprotected sex, but can stop a pregnancy before it happens. These are NOT the same as the abortion pill. There are four types of emergency contraception: the copper-T IUD, ella, Plan B/Next Choice, and the Yuzpe Regimen. They all work up to 5 days after unprotected sex, but the sooner the better.
- Various levels of effectiveness depending on the type you use.
- Use in case of a “whoops” moment.
- Doesn’t affect your ability to get pregnant after you use it.
How to Use It
This is the most effective EC there is. If you get the ParaGard IUD inserted within 5 days after unprotected sex, it can lower the chance of pregnancy by 99.9%. An appointment with a health care provider is needed to have this procedure.
In Arkansas, you can get ella at campus health clinics, urgent care centers, emergency rooms, and Planned Parenthood. Your general practitioner can also prescribe ella. All you do is take the one-pill formula within 5 days after unprotected sex. There is no age limit to access.
Levonorgestrel-based EC pills are available off the shelf at pharmacies and grocery stores to anyone with no age restrictions, meaning you don’t have to have a prescription or show an ID. The different types include Plan B One-Step and generic options like Next Choice One Dose, My Way, and Levonorgestrel. They all work like birth control pills, but have a much higher dose and are only temporary. Plan B One-Step, Next Choice One Dose, and My Way have only one pill, while Next Choice and Levonorgestrel have two pills (one taken right away and a second taken 12 hours later).
The Yuzpe Regimen
Some everyday birth control pills can be used as an EC. You do this by taking the pills in two doses, 12 hours apart. This only works with certain brands or the pill, so be sure to do your research before depending on it.