Emergency Contraception

Levonorgestrel, which is commonly called the “morning after pill” or Plan B is the most common form of emergency contraception. 1


Levonorgestrel, sold as either Plan B One-Step® or Next Choice One Dose® 2 is taken within 72 hours after a woman has had sex without using any type of birth control or if the birth control method failed. It is commonly called the “morning after pill.”[1. Office of Women’s Health. (2012, July 16). Emergency contraception (emergency birth control) fact sheet | womenshealth.gov. Retrieved from http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/emergency-contraception.html#a]

This procedure takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes, with an in-clinic recovery period of up to 5 hours.

  • If a woman is already pregnant, emergency contraception will not work.
  • Plan B and Next Choice are not the abortion pill.

How Emergency Contraception Works

Levonorgestrel works in one of three ways:

  1. Prevents ovulation
  2. Prevents sperm from fertilizing egg
  3. Makes the uterine lining more hostile to implantation

Note: Levonorgestrel does not protect against sexually transmitted disease!

Different types of medication are often used with emergency contraception, including pain medication and/or a sedative prior to the process, as well as medicine after the process to lessen any bleeding that occurs. The procedure usually lasts about 30 minutes.



  1. Plan B One-Step. (2015). About Plan B One-Step®. Retrieved from http://planbonestep.com/about.aspx
  2. Next Choice. (2014). The Morning After Pill – Emergency Contraception – Next Choice®. Retrieved from http://www.mynextchoiceonedose.com/