Emergency contraception (EC) can be used by women who wish to reduce the risk of pregnancy following unprotected sex or contraception failure. There are three forms of EC: copper IUD (Paraguard) insertion, levonorgestrel pills (Plan B), and ulipristal acetate tablets (Ella).
The Paraguard IUD is the most effective form of EC. It can be effective up to five days after unprotected intercourse and provides ongoing contraception following insertion. Consultations and appointments to insert Paraguard are available at UHS and can be made online through MyUHS or by calling 608-265-5614. Please call if appointments are not found online.
The Plan B pill is available at pharmacies, including Walgreens, without a prescription. Plan B is approved when taken within the first three days following unprotected sex, but is more effective the sooner it's taken. In obese women, Plan B has decreased efficacy.
Ella is a tablet form of EC that is effective up to five days after unprotected intercourse, and is more effective than Plan B on days four and five. A prescription, which can be obtained through a UHS provider, is needed for Ella.
For detailed information about EC and how it works, visit http://ec.princeton.edu/