Emergency Contraception Pill
What is it?
Emergency contraceptive pills (ECP) are commonly known as the “morning after pill.” ECP is an emergency form of hormonal birth control that can be used after unprotected sexual contact or where other forms of contraception may have failed.
How does ECP work?
ECP contains a high dose or progesterone, which delays the release of an egg (ovulation). Without an egg, a pregnancy cannot be created. ECP cannot end a pregnancy if you are already pregnant. Most packs of ECP have two pills. To us them:
- Take the first pill as soon possible after the sex act you are worried about
- 12 hours later take the second pill or both pills can be taken at same time
- If you throw-up within 1 hour of taking the pills, call a pharmacist or doctor
Where can you get it?
You can get ECP without a prescription from most pharmacies. You can also get it from the Sexual Health Centre at 179 Clarence Street.
How much does it cost?
At pharmacies, approximately $35-40 depending on the pharmacy’s dispensing fee. You can also get ECP for a discounted rate of $10 at the Sexual Health Centre at 179 Clarence Street.
How effective it is?
ECP is designed to be used in emergences, and not as a regular method of birth control. Its effectiveness depends on how quickly you take it after unprotected sex:
- 0-24 hours after sex: 95% effective
- 24-48 hours after sex: 85% effective
- 49-72 hours after sex: 58% effective
Does it reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections?
No, it does not reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections.
Reasons someone might choose this method of birth control
- You have had unprotected sex and don’t want to become pregnant
- Your method of birth control failed and you don’t want to become pregnant
Reasons someone might not choose this method of birth control
- You might throw up or feel nauseous
- You might have trouble accessing it if you live in a rural or remote areas