Also known as the morning after pill, it is a medication taken to prevent pregnancy AFTER unprotected sexual intercourse.
If taken according to the instructions on the packet, emergency contraception is 90 to 95 percent effective in preventing pregnancy.
The following three brands are available in American pharmacies (such as CVS Pharmacy or Walgreens) without prescription for women aged 17 and over. Next Choice: Contains 2 pills - first pill should be taken within 72 hours and a second one 12 hours later.
Levonorgestrel Tablets: Contains 2 pills - first pill should be taken within 72 hours and a second one 12 hours later. Ella: Is prescription only, regardless of your age, although it can be ordered through an online prescription service. The morning after pill interferes with the ovulation process by slowing the movement of the egg down the fallopian tube, so that it is less likely to meet sperm. No, the abortion pill (Mifeprex, also called RU-486 and mifepristone) and the morning after pill are two different products.
Emergency contraceptives have no long-term or serious side effects and are safe for most women to use. The morning after pill is not meant to be used as a regular method of birth control because it contains high doses of hormone which may be harmful if taken too often. If you experience severe tummy pain, you may have an ectopic pregnancy and should seek immediate medical attention. The only way to know if the morning after pill has worked is when you get your next period. Please Note: Information provided on this site is no substitute for professional medical help. Ella, approved by the FDA in August, will soon be the second "morning after" pill on the U.S. Studies show that both of them effectively prevent pregnancy after contraceptive failure or unprotected sex, but two major differences distinguish them: Only one is available without a prescription. The Food and Drug Administration approved Ella, which contains a compound called ulipristal, in August. Whether having two types of emergency contraceptive pills will reduce the proportion of U.S. Despite the health groups' letter to the FDA in support of Ella's approval, Trussell says, "you can't depend on doctors to spread the word about emergency contraception. But that's one of Plan B's advantages, says Amy Niemann, vice president and general manager for Teva Women's Health.

Guidelines: You share in the USA TODAY community, so please keep your comments smart and civil. After a more than 10-year battle waged by reproductive rights advocates to increase access to emergency contraception, commonly referred to as “the morning-after pill,” a federal judge ruled that the drug can be sold without a prescription to anyone, regardless of age. Prompted by a nationwide project called “Where is your Plan B?” launched this year by the Media Consortium on Reproductive Justice and the Association of Alternative News Media, the Independent visited seven area grocery stores and pharmacies last week and asked employees how to purchase emergency contraception.
Further complicating things was the FDA’s June decision to grant one?company,?Teva Pharmaceuticals,?the exclusive right to sell the drug without a prescription to individuals 17 and under. The Independent found further challenges obtaining emergency contraception at the Rosauers on Reserve Street.
NARAL Pro-Choice Montana Executive Director Maggie Moran has concerns about some of the local practices and underlines the importance of making sure that emergency contraception remains available to women, regardless of age. Moran sees a couple problems with stores choosing to keep contraception behind the pharmacy counter, like at Rosauers.
Advocates such as Moran add that the FDA’s decision to grant an over-the-counter monopoly to TEVA’s Plan B?puts?low-income women at a disadvantage. Ultimately, she says any lingering challenges make it clear that more work needs to be done to ensure that all women have access to reproductive freedom. A prolonged fight over the Montana Developmental Center's future finally ended with the legislature voting to shut down the facility. It needs to be taken either within 72 (3 days) or 120 hours (5 hours, depending on the brand) to be effective. If you are sexually active but don't want to have a baby yet, talk to your doctor about safer forms of contraception.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction include hives, rash, itching, breathing difficulties, swelling of the mouth, tongue or lips. Plan B was first available only by prescription, but four years ago the FDA OK'ed over-the-counter sales to consumers 18 and over (the FDA lowered the cutoff by a year in 2009).
A recent investigation by the Independent, however, found that despite the April ruling, multiple issues hinder the ability of young people to access the pill in and around Missoula.
That decision means the only morning-after pill available to women under 17 without a doctor’s approval is Teva Pharmaceuticals’ Plan B One-Step.
The Independent found that some pharmacies, including those at Safeway and Albertsons, only sell generic emergency contraception, such as “Next Choice.” Despite the federal judge’s April ruling, girls 16 and under who attempt to buy Next Choice without a prescription will be denied. While the store sells Plan B One-Step and, as is required, doesn’t ask for proof of age, it keeps the pills behind the pharmacy counter, meaning the drug can be obtained only during pharmacy hours.
While Plan B can be effective for up to 72 hours, ingesting it sooner increases the odds it will work.

Plan B, which runs on average $50 per pill, costs roughly 25 percent more than generic morning-after pills.
It is similar to the normal daily contraceptive pill but contains a much higher dosage of hormones. There are a few different types of emergency contraceptives, and some are slightly more effective than others. If you need help with the costs, many local health departments offer free emergency contraceptive to lower income women. You may find condoms (including female condoms), birth control implants or birth control injections for example, more practical options. Last year, Teva Pharmaceuticals introduced Plan B One-Step, a single pill, and Watson introduced Next Choice, a generic version of the original two-step Plan B. Food and Drug Administration dropped the age requirement to purchase emergency contraception from 18 to 17.
You may need to take emergency contraception because the contraception you used when you had intercourse failed (for example your condom broke) or because you didn't use contraception. It cannot end a pregnancy that has already begun - which is why it won't work if taken outside of the recommended 120 hours (or 72 hours depending on the brand you take).
To locate your nearest health department look at the government listings usually found at the front of your phone book.
Typically a packet of emergency contraceptives contains 1 or 2 pills and this is sufficient, if taken in time, to prevent conception. It is also worth remembering that the morning after pill will not protect you from HIV infection (the virus that causes AIDS) or any other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Alternatively google your county name and the words 'public health' or 'health department'.
It does this by making the womb expel the egg, ending the pregnancy, up to 49 days after it is confirmed. You could also contact your local Planned Parenthood Center which offer a 'sliding fee scale', depending on your income.
If you have Medicaid coverage, it should cover you for the full cost of the morning after pill in most states.

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