Emergency Contraception

Accidents happen. No birth control method is 100% effective, although many come close. Condoms can break, a diaphragm can slip out of place, or a birth control dosage can be inadvertently skipped. Perhaps you had unprotected vaginal sex despite knowing the risks and weren’t able to pull out in time.

If you suspect that any of these things may have happened, man up. It may be tempting to keep your suspicions to yourself but sharing your concerns with your partner is the right thing to do. Together, you can prevent becoming pregnant.

Emergency contraception like Plan B – known to some as “the Morning After Pill” is designed for close-calls. Guys and girls over 17 can get emergency contraception over-the-counter at drugstores or at our reproductive health centers. Like other medications available over-the-counter, emergency contraception is not kept on drugstore shelves; you will have to ask the pharmacist to purchase it. If you’re under 17, you’ll need an adult’s help to get emergency contraception.

Like hormonal contraception, emergency contraception works by releasing a specific amount of hormones into the bloodstream to prevent a woman from ovulating and by thickening the cervical mucus to reduce the chances of sperm entering the uterus. Without ovulation and without sperm entering the uterus, a woman cannot get pregnant.

Unlike hormonal contraception, emergency contraception is designed to be taken up to 72 hours after sex. For the best chance for emergency contraception to work, it should be taken as soon as possible after sex. It should not be used as a regular form of birth control.

Remember, close-calls are not for your partner to deal with alone. Running away from your problems will not make you any more of a man. But dealing with things in a responsible manner – together – will.