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What Should I Expect If I Go to a Pharmacy to Get Emergency Contraception?

I had unprotected sex and would like to use emergency contraception, but I don't know where to go or what I need to do. I've heard that you can just go to a pharmacy for the morning-after pill. Is that true? Is there anything in particular that I need to do when I get there?

Answer

As of June 2013, brand-name Plan B One-Step™ is available over-the-counter (without a prescription) to women of all ages, with no sales restrictions and no identification necessary.
 
Due to some unusual regulatory and judicial actions, the generic versions, such as Next Choice®, still have sales restrictions. These medications are available over-the-counter (OTC) for purchase by men or women age 17 and older. You will need to ask for these at the pharmacy, as these products are kept behind the counter. You must also show proof of age with a government-issued identification, such as a driver's license, in order to buy these products.
 
It's a good idea to call ahead to the pharmacy to see if they carry these medications. Not all pharmacies stock these products, and the selection may vary from pharmacy to pharmacy. 
 
The individual policies and practices vary from pharmacy to pharmacy, but you will probably need to speak with the pharmacist in order to get a generic version, due to the sales restrictions on the generic versions. He or she will probably ask you a few questions to make sure that emergency contraception is a good choice for you, and he or she will probably explain exactly how to take the product.
 
If you feel this is too embarrassing to do in person, you might consider calling ahead and having this discussion over the phone so that all you will need to do is show your ID and pay when you arrive at the pharmacy.
 
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