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I am a little over 4 weeks pregnant. What can I do? Will the “day after pill” work or do I need to get a medical abortion?

The morning-after pill will not work if you’re already pregnant. The morning-after pill, also known as emergency contraception (EC), helps prevent pregnancy; an abortion (whether it’s the abortion pill or an in-clinic abortion) ends an existing pregnancy.

EC can help prevent pregnancy when used within 120 hours (5 days) after unprotected sex. Pregnancy begins when a fertilized egg implants itself in the lining of your uterus, which takes about 2-3 weeks to happen after sex. That’s why EC can work to prevent pregnancy - before sperm and egg actually meet.

Abortion ends an existing pregnancy. The abortion pill ends a pregnancy with medicine. In-clinic abortions, also know as surgical abortions, are done in a health center by a trained doctor or nurse using medical instruments and gentle suction to remove the pregnancy from your uterus.You usually can get a medication abortion up to 11 weeks after the first day of your last period. If it’s been longer than that, you can have an in-clinic abortion to end your pregnancy. 

Contact your local Planned Parenthood health center for more information about where to get a medication or in-clinic abortion in your area.

Tags: Abortion, abortion pill, pregnancy options, emergency contraception, morning after pill