Emergency Contraception for you (EC4U)

All seven of our Planned Parenthood locations in Massachusetts now carry the full range of Emergency Contraception (EC) options:

•  Copper intrauterine contraception (IUC)ParaGard. The Copper intrauterine contraception is the most effective method of emergency contraception. It can be inserted up to 5 days after unprotected sex and can be left in place as a highly effective method of contraception for up to 12 years after insertion. It requires a doctor’s appointment for prescription and insertion.
•  Progestin Pills Plan B One-Step and Next Choice are available over the counter. Their efficacy decreases with time, especially four or five days after unprotected sex, and they may be less effective for a woman with a higher BMI. Plan B One-Step is available over-the-counter without restrictions; Next Choice is available over-the-counter for individuals above age 17 or with a prescription for individuals of any age.
•  Pills containing ulipristal acetate ella is available with a prescription and is equally effective up to five days after unprotected sex.


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Consistent use of reliable birth control is the best way to prevent a pregnancy, but unprotected sex does occur, and sometimes condoms or birth control fail. Emergency contraception provides a safe, effective way to prevent pregnancy and reduce the need for abortion.

Emergency contraception works by preventing pregnancy. It must be taken within five days of unprotected sex, and it will not work if a woman is already pregnant. EC is a safe, effective form of birth control that works by postponing ovulation, which prevents sperm from coming in contact with and fertilizing an egg. Emergency contraception does not end a pregnancy. In fact, every major medical institution, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), states unequivocally that Plan B and other types of emergency contraception are forms of birth control, and they cannot induce an abortion.

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