Emergency Contraception

Emergency Contraception or EC

Emergency contraception (EC) is intended to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse, forced sex, or contraception failure.  The most common form of EC is the morning-after pill.

Plan B One-Step®

The morning after pill is commonly trademarked under the name Plan B One-Step®.  It contains large amounts of the hormone levonorgestrel found in some birth control pills.  The normal dosage for Plan B One-Step® is usually one tablet taken up to 72 hours (3 days) after sexual intercourse.  It primarily prevents ovulation or fertilization.  If fertilization of the egg has occurred,  it may inhibit implantation in the uterus.   However, Plan B One-Step® cannot disrupt an implanted pregnancy.


Another type of EC is called ella®.  The normal dosage for ella® is one tablet within 5 days (120 hours) after sexual intercourse to prevent pregnancy. It works in the same way as Plan B One-Step® in that it may prevent ovulation or fertilization.  However, unlike Plan B One-Step® that cannot disrupt an implanted pregnancy, ella® is a chemical cousin to the abortion pill, Mifeprex™.  This means it has the same progesterone-blocking effect of disrupting the embryo’s attachment, causing an early abortion, whereby the implanted embryo is expelled from the uterus.

Possible Side Effects

Side effects of Plan B One-Step® and ella® may include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Stomach (abdominal) pain
  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness

Possible Risks

There are no long-term studies on the safety of using this drug frequently over long periods of time.  Women who experience abdominal pain after taking ella® should be seen by a medical professional right away to rule out ectopic pregnancy which can be very dangerous and even life-threatening without medical attention.  ella® may not be as effective if taken with certain drugs, or may change the effectiveness of those drugs.  Also, the effect on pregnancies that continue after using ella® is unknown.

Plan B One-Step® and ella® cannot guarantee you will not get pregnant and it will not protect you against HIV/AIDS or any other sexually transmitted infections or diseases.

Pregnancy Resource Center Medical Clinic does not provide or refer for abortion or emergency contraception.

Source: https://beforeyoudecide.info/references/

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