Plan B

image source: cltampa

The secretary of Health & Human Services said “No Way Jose!” to the FDA’s recommendation to make Plan B One-Step (the “morning after” pill) available over-the-counter to girls under 17. Girls sweet 16 and under will still need a prescription from their doc (CNN).

5 things you should know about emergency contraception:

  1. EC is not an abortion pill.
  2. EC prevents a fertilized egg from embedding in the uterus, which prevents pregnancy.
  3. EC can be used after no birth control was used during sex, or if the birth control method failed (i.e. condom broke) (CDC).
  4. EC pills can be take up to 5 days after unprotected sex, but is more effective if taken sooner rather than later.
  5. There are 4 types of emergency contraception available in the United States (
    1. ELLA: One-pill formula available by prescription only. Blocks the hormones your body needs to conceive. Completely effective for 5 days after unprotected sex.
    2. Plan B/Next Choice: Available over-the-counter, without a prescription. Similar to birth control pills, but at a much higher dose. Works up to 5 days after unprotected sex, but effectiveness decreases each day.
    3. Yuzpe Method: You can use certain birth control pills as EC if you follow the Yuzpe Method guidelines. Works best up to 3 days following unprotected sex. After that, it’s much less effective.
    4. Paragard IUD: Most effective EC. Have a doctor insert it within 5 days of a misstep and lower your chance of pregnancy by 99.9%.

Check out for more information on birth control methods.


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