Emergency Contraception (EC), sometimes called "morning after" contraception, can safely prevent pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse. EC can be used if a condom or a diaphragm breaks; or a woman misses several birth control pills; or no birth control was used; or a woman is a victim of rape or sexual assault. EC pills provide no protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) including HIV.
EC pills are most effective when taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex, ideally within 72 hours (3 days) and not more than 120 hours (5 days). However, the sooner they are taken, the better. Having EC pills before you need them is important because you may not be able to find someone who can prescribe them when you need them - especially at night, on weekends, or when you're out of town. HHC patients can get an emergency contraception prescription upon request and can fill it the same day or in the future.
It is safe to take EC pills more than one time, if necessary. However, emergency contraception is not as effective as other birth control methods and should not be used as a substitute for regular, ongoing birth control. The best way to prevent pregnancy is to visit your health care provider or an HHC Family Planning Clinic to choose the birth control method that’s right for you.
HHC facilities provide confidential reproductive health services, including emergency contraception, to all people, including adolescents, regardless of ability to pay or immigration status.
Click here to locate HHC hospitals and diagnostic and treatment centers, all of which offer reproductive health services.