Emergency contraception

After-the-fact birth control, consisting of a strong (2x or 4x) dose of conventional birth control pills. The method, when used with 72 hours of unprotected sex, is judged to be 75 percent effective in preventing pregnancy–low on the list behind in-advance methods such as condoms, diaphragms, the IUD, and standard birth control pills.

Although the procedure has been medically accepted since the late ’70s, in February 1997 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) called on reticent drug makers to seek approval to market pills in America for “morning-after” use, largely to promote awareness of the less-known anti-pregnancy option. With a similar goal in October 1997, a number of family planning groups launched a toll free hotline (1-888-NOT-2-LATE) and a campaign of public service advertisements.

The Emergency Contraceptive Pill, or ECP, does not terminate pregnancy, it prevents it, by decreasing the likelihood that sperm will combine with the egg and… Continue reading