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

•  Copper intrauterine contraception (IUC) – The copper IUC 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 an appointment with a doctor or an advance practice clinician (nurse practitioner, nurse-midwife, physician assistant) for prescription and insertion.

•  Pills containing ulipristal acetate  Ella is available with a prescription and is equally effective up to five days after unprotected sex. Ulipristal acetate pills may be less effective in women who are overweight.

•  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. Progestin pills are much less effective in women who are overweight. They do not work at all for women who are very overweight. 


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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 (EC) provides a safe, effective way to prevent pregnancy and reduce the need for abortion. It must be taken within five days of unprotected sex, and it will not work if a woman is already pregnant. 


EC works by preventing sperm from reaching the egg. EC 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 do not induce an abortion