Birth Control as Emergency Contraception
My boyfriend and I had a "contraception malfunction" last night. We're not at all ready for children yet. What types of birth control can be used for emergency contraception?
Certain brands of regular birth control pills, also known as oral contraceptives (OCs), can be used in increased doses as emergency contraception. While these are not approved specifically as emergency contraceptive pills, they have been proven safe and effective for preventing pregnancy if taken within the few days after unprotected sex.
However, using regular birth control pills as an emergency contraceptive is not as effective at helping to prevent pregnancy as the approved emergency contraceptive products such as Plan B One-Step™, Next Choice®, or ella®. The exact dose depends on which type of birth control pills you are taking. Contact your healthcare provider for specific recommendations on which OCs can be used and for instructions on how to do so for an emergency contraception situation.
The ParaGard® (copper) IUD can be used as emergency contraception as well, although it is not approved for this type of use.