Like last year, I missed Back Up Your Birth Control Day. However, it’s never too late to share some facts about back-up birth control, otherwise known as emergency contraception, or the morning-after pill. So, here are some (they may or may not be the same ones I posted last year.)
The most common form of EC is emergency contraceptive pills, which contain concentrated dosages of the same hormones found in daily birth control pills, meaning either progestin alone or a combination of estrogen and progestin. However, EC is not as effective as regular birth control.
People 17 and older can purchase EC without a prescription, and people under 17 need a prescription, except in a few states.
EC will not work if a woman is already pregnant and EC will not cause
defects if a woman takes it when she is already pregnant.
EC will not affect a woman’s chance of becoming pregnant in the future.
EC is not RU-486, otherwise known as the “abortion pill.”
EC, when used correctly, can reduce the risk of pregnancy by 89% after a single act of unprotected sex. Effectiveness declines as the interval between
intercourse and the start of treatment increases.
In the first 24 hours after intercourse, EC can prevent 95% of expected pregnancies.
EC can be used up to 5 days after unprotected sex, but the sooner it is used, the better.
Each year, there are about 3 million unintended pregnancies in the United States, and more than half occur among women who are using a regular method of contraception.
Back Up Your Birth Control Day has an entire section of the website dedicated to facts and information, if you want more. Mess-ups happen, and it’s important to remember that there are ways to deal with them.