Emergency contraception is often referred to as the "morning after pill," but this title is misleading, because emergency contraception is effective when taken UP TO 72 HOURS AFTER UNPROTECTED SEX.
A bit of information about EC, from webmd.com: (possible rape trigger?)
Emergency contraception -- also called postcoital contraception -- is a form of birth control that may be used by women within 72 hours of having unprotected sex. The treatment generally is reserved for emergency situations and is not a regular method of birth control. Emergencies include being raped, having a condom break or slip off during sex, missing two or more birth control pills during a monthly cycle, and having unplanned sex.
How Does It Work?
Emergency contraception may prevent pregnancy by temporarily blocking eggs from being produced, by stopping fertilization, or keeping a fertilized egg from becoming implanted in the uterus.
Emergency contraception can be provided in two ways: using hormonal contraceptive pills or inserting a copper-releasing IUD (intrauterine device).
* Emergency Contraceptive Pills (ECP) are most commonly used and are taken in two doses. The first dose should be taken within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse, and the second dose 12 hours later.
* An IUD can be inserted to prevent pregnancy up to five days after unprotected intercourse
How Effective Is Emergency Contraception?
It is about 75% effective when taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex.
Where Can I Get Emergency Contraception?
ECP are available at Planned Parenthood; college, public, and women's health centers; private doctors; and some hospital emergency rooms.
Some doctors will prescribe ECP over the phone and call the prescription in to a pharmacy. ECP are available directly from some pharmacists in Washington state.
Who Should Not Use Emergency Contraception?
Emergency contraception should not be used by women who are already pregnant because it is ineffective at terminating established pregnancies.
Are There Any Side Effects Associated With Emergency Contraception?
The most common side effects associated with emergency contraception include:
* Abdominal pain
* Menstrual changes
Ask your doctor or pharmacist about ways to reduce nausea. They may prescribe some anti-nausea medicine for you to take before you take ECP.
Does It Protect Against Sexually Transmitted Diseases?
No. Emergency contraception will not protect you from contracting an STD.