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Info on Various EC Products

Estrogen Plus Progestin Pills
Regular birth control pills that contain estrogen and progestin can be used for emergency contraception. This is sometimes called "combined" emergency contraception, or the Yuzpe method. The usual dose is at least 100 mcg of estrogen and 0.5 mg of progestin taken twice, 12 hours apart.
Because birth control pills contain different amounts of estrogen and progestin, the number of pills taken will vary depending on the brand. In addition, not all brands of birth control pills can be used in this manner.
Combined EC is thought to be slightly less effective than progestin-only EC. It is estimated that it can reduce your chance of getting pregnant by about 75 percent. This means that if eight women who would have gotten pregnant take combined EC, only two of them will actually become pregnant. Like progestin-only EC, combined EC is more effective the sooner you take it after unprotected sex.
Copper Intrauterine Device (IUD)
The copper intrauterine device (ParaGard) is a nonhormonal emergency contraception option. This means it does not contain hormones. It is thought to work by preventing fertilization, but may also prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. The copper could cause a miscarriage if you are pregnant.
The copper IUD is believed to be more effective than progestin-only or combined EC. It is thought to reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy by more than 99 percent if used within 120 hours (five days) of unprotected sex or birth control failure.
The copper IUD may be less convenient than the other EC options because it can only be inserted by a healthcare provider. However, once inserted, it can remain in place for up to 10 years to prevent pregnancy.
Ulipristal (ella) is a progesterone receptor modulator medication. It is only available with a prescription. Ulipristal is effective at preventing pregnancy up to 120 hours (five days) after unprotected sex or birth control failure.
Ulipristal works by blocking the effects of progesterone. This inhibits or delays ovulation. Ulipristal may alter the lining of the uterus (the endometrium), which could prevent a fertilized egg from implanting. Unlike other forms of hormonal emergency contraception, ulipristal could theoretically cause a miscarriage if you are already pregnant.
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Emergency Contraception Information

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