The availability and use of emergency contraceptives (ECs) are vital for an individual’s health and well-being. There are different types of FDA-approved ECs that serve as an important back-up method to prevent a pregnancy when used after birth control failure, unprotected sexual intercourse or sexual assault. Types of ECs are;
Levonorgestrel is a progestin-based pill that is sold under brand names such as; Plan B, Plan B One- Step, My Choice, My Way and others. It is effective if taken within 72 hours of intercourse and can be obtained without a prescription to all ages at pharmacies, drug stores, Indian Health Services (IHS) and military treatment facilities.
Ulipristal Acetate is a pill sold under the brand name Ella and is effective up to five days after intercourse. A prescription from a doctor, nurse, family planning or health clinic is required to obtain Ella from a pharmacy or military treatment facility (if stocked at the facility).
Plan B (and other brands) as well as Ella are often referred to as the morning-after pill.
Copper-releasing Intrauterine Device (IUD) is an effective method of emergency contraception when inserted into the uterus by a health care provider within 5 days after intercourse. ParaGuard (brand name) is the only copper-releasing IUD available in the US. Additionally, the copper-releasing IUD is a method of birth control.