, or emergency birth control, is used to help keep a woman from getting pregnant after she has had sex without using birth control or if the birth control method failed. If you are already pregnant, emergency contraception will not work.
The sooner you use emergency contraception after unprotected sex, the more likely it will prevent pregnancy
. But you must use it correctly. For regular birth control pills used as ECPs, take the first dose within 3 days of having unprotected sex, but no later than 5 days. Take the second dose 12 hours later. For Plan B
One-Step, only one pill is needed but it should be taken within 72 hours of sex. For Next Step, the first pill should be taken within 72 hours of sex and the second pill 12 hours later.
Some women feel sick and throw up after taking ECPs. Headache, dizziness
, lower stomach cramps
, irregular bleeding, breast tenderness, and fatigue
also can occur. Progestin-only ECPs cause fewer side effects than combined pills that also contain estrogen
. Antiemetics can reduce the risk of feeling sick and throwing up. Take two of these pills 30 minutes before taking ECPs. If you throw up after taking ECPs, call your doctor .