When accidents happen you’ve got a back-up plan! It’s called emergency contraception, also known as the “morning after pill” or Plan B. You risk an accidental pregnancy when condoms break, when birth control is taken incorrectly, or if you were unprepared for sex.
Unprotected sex, even if it’s just once, can lead to an unplanned pregnancy. In this case, the emergency contraceptive pill can reduce the chance of pregnancy.
Plan B is best used within 3 days (72 hours) of unprotected sex. Most doctors or nurse practitioners will prescribe it up to 5 days after unprotected sex; however it is also available at pharmacies without a prescription. Emergency contraceptive prevents the release of an egg from the ovary or prevents the sperm and egg from uniting. It will not end a pregnancy if that has already happened.
If you can’t afford to pay for Plan B, where do you go?
Plan B is available at the Sexual Health Clinic for $10 or free to those who are unable to pay. Since it should only be used in an emergency situation, you can also talk to the nurse about other low cost birth control methods that are effective and convenient for everyday use.