What is Emergency Contraception (EC, the Morning After Pill)?


Emergency contraception is birth control that can prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex.  Emergency contraception is also called "the morning after pill" or EC.  A woman can use emergency contraception right away, or up to five days after sex, if a woman thinks that her birth control failed or if she had unprotected sex without contraception. 

Emergency contraception makes it much less likely that a woman will get pregnant. However, emergency contraception is not as effective as birth control that's used before or during sex, such as condoms, birth control pills, or an IUD.

Emergency contraception (also called "morning after pills") options around the world include:

  • Progestin Only EC (Levonorgestrel 1,5 mg)
  • "Combined" emergency contraceptive pills  (2 doses of 0,5 mg of levonorgestrel and 0,1mg of ethinyl estradiol taken 12 hours apart)
  • Ulipristal acétate (30 mg)
  • Mifepristone (25mg)
  • Copper-T Intrauterine Device (IUD)