You probably know it best as the morning-after pill (like Plan B One-Step, Next Choice, Ella, etc.) but your other options are the copper IUD or a high dose of regular birth control pills — but more on all these later.
Emergency contraception delays ovulation (when an egg is released from your ovary and could maybe get fertilized by sperm) and may, in some cases, prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in your uterine lining. What it won’t do is end an existing pregnancy. The abortion pill, or Mifeprex, terminates an early pregnancy. “You couldn’t take enough levonorgestrel [Plan B One-Step] to cause an abortion,” James Trussell, Ph.D., senior research demographer of the Office of Population Research at Princeton University, tells BuzzFeed Life. “It’s not physiologically capable of doing so.”
The labeling on Plan B One-Step and its generics say that you should take it within 72 hours of unprotected sex , and that it’s most effective the sooner you take it. That’s a solid suggestion, but more recent research found that it might be just as effective on days one through four. And it’s possible that it might still be effective on day five, depending on where you are in your cycle, Dr. Alyssa Dweck, certified OB-GYN, co-author of V Is for Vagina, tells BuzzFeed Life. Obviously you should never wait to take emergency contraception, says Trussell, but if you think you’re too late, call your doctor or a pharmacist to ask about your options. You might still have some tim
It’s actually the copper IUD, which has the added bonus of offering pregnancy protection for up to 10 years. If inserted within five days of unprotected sex, it’s extremely effective at preventing pregnancy (in a review of 42 studies between 1979 and 2011, the pregnancy rate was just 0.1% when women used an IUD for emergency contraception), says Trussell.
No form of emergency contraception is 100% effective (though the copper IUD comes close). So if your period is more than a week late, you might be pregnant. It’s hard to say exactly how effective each method actually is, especially since placebo-controlled studies would be super unethical here. if you find yourself trapped and not ready for it you can contact us