Emergency contraception

Emergency Contraceptive pills reduce the risk of pregnancy primarily by delaying or inhibiting ovulation and inhibiting fertilization, but may theoretically inhibit implantation of a fertilized egg.

Commonly called “Plan B®” or “The Morning After Pill”, emergency contraceptive pills contain either levonorgestrel (Plan B®, One-Step®, Next Choice® and Levonorgestrel Tablets) or ulipristal acetate (ella®).

It is not the same as the “Abortion Pill” or RU-486. The “Abortion Pill” or mifepristone, which is sold in the United States under the brand name Mifeprex, works differently than emergency contraceptive pills. When given after a pregnancy has started, mifepristone stops the development of a pregnancy once a fertilized egg implants in the uterus. This drug is approved for use in early abortions in the United States.


The effectiveness varies depending on many factors such as how soon after intercourse it is taken and whether ovulation has already occurred.


Range from about $35 -$60 plus the cost of the doctor visit, if necessary.


The pill is to be taken as soon after intercourse where no reliable method was used, up to 5 days maximum.

It is available over the counter.

Side effects

Nausea and vomiting, fatigue, headache, breast tenderness, dizziness, diarrhea, lower abdominal pain, irregular vaginal bleeding

emergency contraception pills