Emergency contraception (EC) is sometimes called the morning-after pill or Plan B. It is contraception used as soon as possible up to 5 days after unprotected sex if contraception isn’t used, contraception fails, or when sex is coerced or forced.
There are two kinds of EC pills:
A copper IUD inserted within 5 days after unprotected sex can also be used as EC, and it has the added benefit of providing long-term pregnancy prevention.
EC is NOT the same as the abortion pill; EC prevents pregnancy before it happens.
Exact effectiveness rates are hard to calculate for EC pills, because it’s difficult to know the risk of pregnancy for a particular act of intercourse. Here are some things to know about EC effectiveness:
Progestin-only EC (Plan B One-Step and generics such as Aftera) is approved for over-the-counter (OTC) sale, but access is not always easy: