Birth Control Options

Emergency Contraception (Plan B Pill)

Thinking about taking emergency contraception?

Emergency contraception (EC), also commonly known as the morning-after-pill or Plan B, is a last line of defense against pregnancy — and it’s not intended to be used as a regular method of birth control. carafem offers EC for $25, no appointment necessary.

You should take EC if any of the following has happened:

  • You had unprotected sex within the last five days (120 hours)
  • You forgot to take your regular birth control pills more than twice and are unsure if you are still protected
  • You were using a condom during sex but it broke or slipped off

When should I take a Plan B / EC pill?

If you have unprotected sex or a condom breaks, you should take over-the-counter EC as soon as possible within the first 72 hours. If the 72 hour window has passed, you can get a doctor’s prescription for the EC brand Ella, which can be taken at any time within five days (or 120 hours) after sex to reduce your risk of pregnancy.

If you take daily oral birth control pills but have missed more than two pills, keep taking your birth control pills, even after taking EC, and use a condom for the next 7 days.

If you’re not using any type of preventative birth control, you can still protect yourself from pregnancy in the heat of the moment. Use a condom, cervical cap, or diaphragm, or try activities other than vaginal sex.

Will emergency contraception work if I’m already pregnant?

If you are already pregnant, emergency contraception will not disrupt or end the pregnancy! If you are already pregnant and do not wish to be, then please consider making an appointment with us for an abortion. We have a detailed post outlining the differences between emergency contraception and the abortion pill.

In some locations we also offer the Missed Period Pill program for those who had unprotected sex but don’t know if they are pregnant and want to play it safe.

What are my EC options?

There are several types of emergency contraception: over-the-counter (non-prescription), which you can buy at most pharmacies under names like Plan B, One-Step, Next Choice One Dose, Next Choice, My Way, or Levonorgestrel.

carafem offers over-the-counter emergency contraception for just $25. Over-the-counter EC usually costs around $50 at pharmacies and needs to be taken ASAP within the first 72 hours after unprotected sex. It is more effective the sooner it is taken.

You can also buy prescription EC, called Ella. While Ella is a bit more expensive (usually around $90), its effectiveness does not decrease over time, as long as it is taken within 5 days after sex.

Can I use an IUD as emergency contraception?

Yes! The copper IUD is the most effective form of EC, lowering your chance of becoming pregnant by 99.9%. Once a copper IUD is inserted, it can protect you from pregnancy for up to 12 years, and it won’t affect your natural ability to get pregnant in the future. Best of all, it can be taken out at any time within those 12 years if you want to get pregnant or switch birth control methods.

Copper IUDs are best for folks with insurance since many plans cover contraception, but their out-of-pocket cost is high if you’re uninsured. If you want to use the copper IUC as emergency contraception, you must make an appointment and have a provider insert it as soon as possible after unprotected sex. carafem can do this, usually as soon as same or next day! Make an appointment today.

Make a plan for long-term birth control.

If your birth control is not a good fit and you find yourself having multiple unplanned pregnancies, it’s probably a good time to switch methods. Make an appointment with us today to find out what other options you have to prevent pregnancy.