Emergency contraception can prevent pregnancy if taken soon after having sex. It is a backup birth control method if other methods of birth control fail, such as missing two or more birth control pills or if a condom breaks.
Emergency contraception is also known as the morning after pill and includes brand names such as Plan B, which uses levonorgestrel, a progestin hormone commonly found in standard birth control pills. Emergency contraception is a higher dose of the normal birth control pill that can be taken up to five days after having unprotected sex, although the sooner it is taken, the more likely it will be effective.
Emergency contraception (the morning after pill) will not terminate a pregnancy if it has already occurred.
Anyone of any age can buy Plan B and generic versions of the morning after pill over the counter (without a prescription).
If you want to avoid pregnancy, ask your doctor or medical health provider to help you find an ongoing birth control method that will work for you.
The morning after pill should not replace routine methods of birth control and should only be used in emergencies.
Birth control resources
Provides general information and links about emergency contraception (Plan B).
Provides a searchable list of providers in your area who will write a prescription for emergency contraception.
The manufacturer of Plan B One-Step morning after pill’s website, providing some good information about the emergency contraceptive pill.
A resource for free and confidential birth control for women under age 25.
Located at Children’s Hospital Colorado, 720-777-BC4U