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How Effective is the Morning After Pill

Published: September 30, 2013
Dear TeenHealthFX,

How useful is the day after pill, Should I keep it around just in case?


Dear How Effective is the Morning After Pill,

Emergency contraception (sometimes called EC or “the morning-after pill”) works after sex to stop a pregnancy before it starts. EC should not be confused with RU-486 (the abortion pill) – it will not work if you are already pregnant.

The effectiveness of EC depends on timing. The sooner it is taken after unprotected sex, the more effective it will be. EC will be most effective when used within 72 hours following intercourse. If begun within 12 hours of intercourse it is generally 99% effective; within 1-3 days of intercourse it is 96-97% effective.

If you are using an oral contraceptive and a condom you should be well protected. But “just in case,” you did not use proper protection or the condom broke it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have emergency contraception nearby. It is not essential that you take it right away since you have a 72 hour window, but you do not want to delay it either.

Remember there is always the chance of pregnancy with unprotected intercourse as well as possibly exposing yourself to a Sexually Transmitted Disease STD.) TeenHealthFX strongly encourages you that if you are going to be sexually active that you practice safer sex

 

 

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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