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Next Choice Effectiveness

When taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex or birth control failure, Next Choice® (levonorgestrel) can help prevent pregnancy. This emergency contraceptive is available without a prescription for women who are 17 years old and older; for those younger than 17 years of age, a prescription is required to obtain this morning-after pill.
Research on the effectiveness of Next Choice has shown that taking this contraceptive within three days (72 hours) after unprotected sex reduces the risk of pregnancy by 89 percent. After any one act of unprotected intercourse, the average woman has an 8 percent chance of getting pregnant. If she takes Next Choice, that risk is reduced to about 1 percent.
Next Choice works to prevent pregnancy primarily by stopping ovulation (the maturation and release of eggs from the ovaries) or by preventing fertilization of the egg if ovulation has already occurred. It also alters the lining of the uterus (the endometrium), making it less receptive to a fertilized egg.
(For more information on the effectiveness of this contraceptive, click Next Choice. This feature article discusses who can use this emergency form of contraception, describes possible side effects, and explains why some people should not use this pill.)
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