Sizing up Your Choices in an Emergency Contraceptive Pill

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It doesn’t always happen to plan; but when a quick sexual encounter catches you by surprise, chances are, you’ll be mentally hunting for your choices in an emergency contraceptive pill right away. How do you choose the best option for yourself? The following may help you make the right decision.

Your first choice in an emergency contraceptive pill of course is the famous Plan B One-Step. They also call this the morning-after pill, named for how your window of opportunity to prevent a pregnancy starts the morning after and extends to another three days. You have another option in the Next Choice pill that has a narrower window of 12 hours, but is just as effective. Once you use some dependable method of contraception on top of this one for the rest of your cycle, you should be safe.

How about using the T-shaped IUD that’s popular as a method of long-term contraception? Many people don’t realize this, but ParaGard,the most popular brand of T device, can also be used for emergency purposes. If you have your doctor introduce one into your uterus within five days of having sex without protection, you should be in the clear. Once you have it inserted, ParaGard will sustain a release of copper into your system all the time, and give you reliable protection for up to 10 years unless you have it removed.

Regular contraception pills can work too, if you take a combination of more than one kind. All you need to do is take one with estrogen in it right away, and 12 hours later, take one with progestin. This regimen should work very well for up to five days of an unprotected encounter. Use a backup method for the rest of the cycle, and you should be worry-free.

But there is a new kid on the block here – the FDA has approved of a new emergency contraceptive pill known as Ella. It is supposed to be the most effective morning-after pill on earth at the moment. Where Plan B needs to be taken no later than three days after sex, Ella extends that window by two more days.

The reason an emergency contraceptive pill needs to be effective for so long is that most women don’t realize that they’ve placed themselves at risk until quite a while after. Under the Bush administration, the distribution of free Plan B pills to kids under 18 was strongly opposed. Today, with a new administration in place, all emergency pills are back on, and that is good news to any enthusiast of women’s rights.

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