University Health and Counseling Services

Emergency Contraception

What is Emergency Contraception?

Emergency contraception (EC) is birth control that prevents pregnancy after sexual intercourse, which is why it is sometimes called “the morning after pill.” You can use emergency contraception right away - or up to five days (120 hours) after intercourse- if you think your birth control might have failed due to missed doses of birth control pills, you didn’t use contraception, or you were forced to have sex. EC makes it much less likely you will get pregnant.  If taken within 5 days of unprotected intercourse, EC reduces the chance of pregnancy by up to 89%. The sooner you take it, the more effective it will be. EC  is not as effective as birth control that’s used during sex, like the pill, Nuva Ring, Depo shot, Mirena, Implanon, or condoms. So if you are sexually active or planning to be, don’t use emergency contraception as your only protection against pregnancy.  EC does not protect against sexually transmitted infections, including HIV (only condoms do).

University Health and Counseling Services offers EC in the form of Next Choice, two pills containing Levonorgestrel, a hormone found in many birth control pills. Next Choice contains a much higher dose of Levonorgestrel and without the addition of estrogen.  Please call or come in to purchase EC over the counter if you need it! Our current price for Next Choice is $20.00.

EC is also available at pharmacies without a prescription for anyone age 18 or older. However, the cost is usually higher than our charge.