(The 411 on the 911)
1) What is it?
Also known as the “morning after pill”, Emergency Contraceptive Pills (ECPs) are two large doses of hormones (pills) taken 12 hours apart within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse (or intercourse with a failed birth control method) to avoid becoming pregnant.
Like its name indicates, it is for emergency use only, and and should be used only once during a menstrual cycle.
2) Where Can I Get It?
The ECP is available by precription only. It can be obtained at:
– your family doctor
– a walk-in medical clinic
– the emergency department of hospitals
– Planned Parenthood and other family planning clinics
3) How effective is it?
The sooner the ECP is taken after unprotected intercourse, the more effective it will be. If taken within the 72 hour window period, its success rate is over 98%, with most women getting a period within one to three weeks of taking it.
50% Of unintended pregnancies could be prevented by knowing about the ECP in advance.
4) What are the side effects?
The most common side effect of emergency contraception is nausea and vomiting. For this reason, it is important to take the pills with Gravol—if they don’t stay in your body for two hours, they will not work.
No deaths of serious complications have been reported in the 25 years this method has been studied.
5) Will it protect me from STDs?
No. Emergency contraception provides no protection from sexually transmitted diseases, nor will protect from sex that took place more than three days before.