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Your Guide to Emergency Contraception

The Nurx medical team created this guide to help you understand whether to take emergency contraception if you're using another birth control method.

Your Guide to Emergency Contraception Image
Written by Nurx
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Emergency contraception is in high demand right now.  Since early May when the news leaked that the Supreme Court would likely overturn Roe v Wade, and even more since Friday when the court did overturn Roe, thousands of you have been requesting emergency contraception to have on hand, just in case you ever need it.  In the new world abortion will be illegal or highly restricted in half of American states, so if you’re capable of getting pregnant it makes sense to plan ahead and have this pregnancy prevention strategy in the bedside table just in case.

Emergency contraception is a great tool for preventing unwanted pregnancy, but we don’t want you to take it unnecessarily and want to make sure you take the right kind. Our medical team created this Emergency Contraception Flowchart to make sure you know all you should, and we also spell it out below. We made the chart a PDF so you can download, save and share.

Here’s how to know if you should take emergency contraception if you’re using another birth control method.

Get Birth Control At Home

Birth control from Nurx costs as little as $0 with insurance or $15 per month without insurance.

When should you take EC?

Condoms: A condom was your only form of birth control and it broke or fell off, or you did not use one the entire time there was genital contact.

Combination pills, Slynd, the patch, the ring: You missed two or more combination pills, didn’t replace your patch or ring on time or left your ring out of your vagina for too long.

Progestin-only pills (other than Slynd): You missed a progestin-only pill by more than 3 hours and had sex within 48 hours of that.

The birth control shot:  It’s been more than 14 weeks since your last injection.

An IUD or implant: Your IUD or implant but is expired.

If you have been using any birth control for less than a week: Contact your medical provider ASAP to discuss next steps.

Which EC should you take?

Below we’ve spelled out which emergency contraception is best for different situations. One VERY important thing to know about Ella: Ella and regular hormonal birth control can cancel each other out, so if you take Ella do not use other hormonal birth control for 5 days and do use a condom for a week.

If it has been less than 3 days (72 hours) since sex:  You can take Plan B, a morning-after pill that works for up to 3 days and is available without a prescription at many pharmacies. Or, you can request the prescription-only morning-after pill Ella, which Nurx can send to you with overnight shipping or send the prescription to your local pharmacy for pick-up. You should take whichever type of morning-after pill you can get your hands on first. Important: Ella and regular hormonal birth control can cancel each other out, so if you take Ella do not use other hormonal birth control for 5 days and do use a condom for a week.

If it has been more than 3 days but less than 5 (120 hours) since sex: You should take Ella, the prescription morning-after pill that may work for up to 5 days after sex. Nurx can send to you with overnight shipping or send the prescription to your local pharmacy for pick-up. Important: Ella and regular hormonal birth control can cancel each other out, so if you take Ella do not use other hormonal birth control for 5 days and do use a condom for a week.

If you weigh more than 164 pounds: You should take Ella, the prescription morning-after pill that is the better choice for people who weigh more than 165 pounds. Nurx can send to you with overnight shipping or send the prescription to your local pharmacy for pick-up. Important: Ella and regular hormonal birth control can cancel each other out, so if you take Ella do not use other hormonal birth control for 5 days and do use a condom for a week.

If your IUD or implant is expired: Contact your medical provider. Do not take Ella—if any hormones are still present in your IUD or implant it will make Ella less effective. Plan B is an option, because it will not interact with the hormones from your IUD or implant.

If you are breastfeeding: Plan B is safest, but Ella can be used if you discard your  breast milk for 24 hours after taking Ella (or consult with your medical provider).

If you can get an IUD inserted:  The most effective method of emergency contraception is to have an IUD inserted by a medical provider within 5 days. This method isn’t impacted by body weight, and you can leave the IUD in for years as birth control.

If it has been more than 5 days since unprotected sex: Emergency contraception will no longer be effective. We recommend taking a pregnancy test 2 weeks after you had sex, or if your period is late.

 

This blog pro­vides infor­ma­tion about telemed­i­cine, health and related sub­jects. The blog content and any linked materials herein are not intended to be, and should not be con­strued as a substitute for, med­ical or healthcare advice, diagnosis or treatment. Any reader or per­son with a med­ical con­cern should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other healthcare provider. This blog is provided purely for informational purposes. The views expressed herein are not sponsored by and do not represent the opinions of Nurx™.

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