Emergency Contraception (EC) is a safe and effective way to prevent pregnancy when other forms of contraception, like oral contraceptives or condoms, are absent or fail. For example, if the condom breaks or you recently forgot to take your regular birth control (hey, it happens!). Not only is EC safe and effective, but it’s also commonly used—about 25 percent of women and people who menstruate will use EC in their lifetime.
The typical person seeking Emergency Contraception is a woman or someone who menstruates, under the age of 25, has never been pregnant, and has previously used contraception.
Despite its popularity, EC is incredibly misunderstood. But fear not, we’ve got the skinny on all things EC.
First things first: Plan B is a brand of Emergency Contraception. People often use the two interchangeably, but at Favor we always refer to it as Emergency Contraception or EC. However, even the word “emergency” is misleading, because that rare instance of unprotected sex is no longer an emergency if you keep EC on hand.
While you should have EC in your nightstand drawer, it should not be used as a primary form of birth control.
Using Emergency Contraception
EC can be used shortly after unprotected sex to stop a pregnancy from occuring by preventing or delaying ovulation, and is typically most effective when used within 3-5 days after unprotected sex (depending on the type used). Pro Tip: some brands vary, so check the box first!
While there isn’t necessarily a weight limit, EC may be less effective if you’re a certain weight. That said, regardless of one’s weight, it’s always a good idea to take EC after unprotected sex, or failed protection during sex (missed pill, or condom breaks), to minimize the chances of becoming pregnant.
Contrary to the misinformation cluttering our newsfeeds, Emergency Contraception prevents or delays ovulation, thereby preventing pregnancy. It is not the same as a medication abortion, which is used to terminate an existing early-stage pregnancy.
What if you or someone you know is pregnant but doesn’t know it? Emergency Contraception will not cause harm to the pregnant person or fetus.
Let’s Talk Money
Some Emergency Contraception is covered at no cost under the Affordable Care Act’s Contraceptive Mandate when prescribed by a healthcare provider (read more here). In fact, Favor members can easily get emergency contraception online, regardless of their insurance status, and have it delivered right to their doorstep with self-care extras. At Favor, we offer two types of Emergency Contraception:
Generic Plan B
You can find a full list of FDA-approved Emergency Contraceptives on the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' website, and in most states, your health care provider or pharmacist can be a great resource to discuss your options. However, keep in mind that despite having FDA approval, women and people who menstruate still face significant hurdles in accessing the contraception care they need.
Emergency Contraception By-Mail
Some politicians and activists have spent decades working to limit access to Emergency Contraception, creating legislative barriers that increase stigma and make it harder to access. Pharmacists in seven (!) states are explicitly allowed to refuse to dispense EC based on their personal religious and moral beliefs. And while some EC is available over the counter—aka without a prescription—it’s located behind the pharmacy counter, making it more challenging for patients to access.
While no one should ever feel embarrassed about needing EC, getting it by mail means no unnecessary barriers or awkward interactions.
PSA: Get Your Hands on Emergency Contraception Early…and Often
EC is more effective the sooner you take it after unprotected sex. For this reason, many health care providers, myself included, recommend having Emergency Contraception on hand so you can take it immediately if and when you need it. By proactively keeping EC on hand, you’ll never find yourself in an emergency situation after unprotected sex.
You’ve got nothing to lose—snag some EC ASAP. Shop all things protection and pleasure with sexual wellness products from Favor.