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How Long Do I Have to Use Emergency Contraception?

The sooner you take EC, the more effective it is at preventing pregnancy. In general, you have 120 hours (five days) after having sex to use EC. The manufacturers of levonorgestrel EC (Plan B One-Step™, Next Choice®) recommend the pills be taken within 72 hours (three days). However, research suggests you have up to 120 hours after unprotected sex to take them.

Final Thoughts

If you have additional questions about emergency contraception or are considering it in your situation, talk to your healthcare provider. He or she can help you choose the best option for you. If you believe you need emergency contraception, remember that some forms are available without a prescription to all women, regardless of age, in the United States. 
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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