Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Plan B® One-Step, a new emergency contraception pill. Plan B One-Step gives women the option of helping to prevent an unplanned pregnancy with a single dose instead of two doses. It will be available in about a month.
Emergency contraception (also known as the morning after pill) is a safe and effective way to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse. It can be taken up to five days (120 hours) after unprotected intercourse.
Accidents happen. Did you have intercourse without using protection? Did you forget to use your birth control correctly? Did the condom break, leaving you worried about becoming pregnant? If so, emergency contraception might be a good choice for you.
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The FDA has also made Plan B available from drugstores and health centers without a prescription for women and men 17 and older (previously, it was available to people 18 and older). If you are interested in getting Plan B and are 17 or older, you can now get it directly from either a Planned Parenthood health center or from your local drugstore. If you are younger than 17, you'll need to go to Planned Parenthood, other health center, or private health care provider for a prescription.
We all like to be prepared. That is why it's a great idea to keep some Plan B in your medicine cabinet or bedside table in case of an accident. Having the morning after pill on hand will let you take it as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse, when it is most effective. If you are younger than 17, you can ask your health care provider for a prescription that you can fill ahead of time.