Maria Talks

Emergency Contraception

I know some of you may have heard of ‘the morning after pill’ (also called emergency contraception or ‘Plan B’), and some of you may not know anything about it. My Aunt Lucia just gave me the lowdown on it and it’s something that everyone (girls AND guys) should know about.

If you decide you are ready to have sex, this is definitely something you want to know about.  Emergency contraception (EC) is the same medicine as regular birth control pills.  You can use it after having unprotected sex and it can prevent you from becoming pregnant. It works best if taken within 24 hours.  And even though it can work for up to 5 days after you have unprotected sex, it is always best to take it as soon as possible.  Remember, it’s for emergencies, not for regular birth control.

Some possible reasons to take EC are because:

  • The condom broke or slipped off
  • Birth control pills, patch or vaginal ring wasn’t used correctly
  • The diaphragm, cap or shield slipped out of place
  • The penis wasn’t pulled out in time
  • Birth control wasn’t used
  • A woman was forced to have sex

EC can be taken right after unprotected sex (sex when birth control wasn’t used) and up to 5 days after, but the sooner you take it the more likely it is to work.  If you don’t get your period after 3 weeks, you may be pregnant. Contact your doctor or a family planning clinic, or take a pregnancy test.

All the info you need about EC is here, but if you are having sex or are thinking about having sex, you should talk to your doctor, nurse or family planning clinic about EC. You can also call the MA Sexual Health Helpline at (877) MA-SEX-ED or (877) 627-3933 with any questions such as where to get EC.

For Contraceptives and Emergency Pills. Click here.