Emergency Contraception – “The Morning After Pill”

Emergency Contraception (Levonorgestrel – 1.5 mg tablet)


Plan B One-Step and all generic equivalents (Next Choice – My Way) are now available over the counter to any age without a prescription.  Please let us know if you are having trouble at the pharmacy so we may call the pharmacy and update them on the new laws –


WHC Currently offers EContra™ EZ – (Levonorgestrel 1.5 mg tablets)

for FREE to Minnesota residents.

Due to a generous grant from the Healthier Minnesota Community Clinic grant fund.

Please call WHC for assistance at 218-727-3352.

What is emergency contraception?

Emergency contraception (EC) is not the same as RU-486 (Medical Abortion or the “abortion pill”).  Emergency contraception works like a birth control pill to prevent an unplanned pregnancy.  If you take EC after you are already pregnant, it will not affect or terminate your pregnancy.

Emergency Contraception works like a regular birth control pill.  It prevents pregnancy mainly by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary, and therefore prevents the fertilization of an egg (the uniting of sperm with the egg).  Emergency Contraception will not affect a fertilized egg already attached to the uterus.

According to recent studies, scientists report that Emergency Contraception delays ovulation (the release of eggs from the ovaries) which occurs before fertilization.  Please see New York Times article.

Levonorgestrel 1.5 mg tablet and Plan B One-Step® contain 1 tablet.  Take as soon as possible within 120 hours (5 days) of unprotected sex.

The sooner you take EC the more effective it is.  When taken as directed, it can reduce your chance of pregnancy by 89%.

Emergency Contraception should not be used as regular birth control, because it is not as effective as other birth control methods.

Emergency Contraception does not protect you from HIV infection (the virus that causes AIDS) or any other STI’s (sexually transmitted infection).

Emergency Contraception may not be as effective in women with a BMI (body mass index) of  26-30.   According to research, LNG pills (like Plan B or Levonorgestrel tablet 1.5 mg) seem to lose effectiveness beginning at 165 pounds. If you have any questions, please feel free to call WHC at 218-727-3352.



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Levonorgestrel 1.5 mg tablets (“the morning after pill) and Plan B One-Step®  can prevent a pregnancy after unprotected sex, contraceptive failure (for example, if your condom broke or if you missed taking birth control pills), or sexual assault.

Levonorgestrel  is NOT the abortion pill.  Emergency contraception is a back-up plan that can help prevent a pregnancy up to 120 hours* (5 days) after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure.  Plan B One-Step® and other Levonorgestrel emergency contraceptives are up to 89% effective when taken within 72 hours (three days) after unprotected sex.  They continue to reduce the risk of pregnancy up to 120 hours (five days) after unprotected sex, but are less effective as time passes.  The pill contains a large dose of the same hormone found in some birth control pills -Progestin.  Morning after contraception has been prescribed in hospitals for years for victims of sexual assault or incest.

To learn more about Plan B One-Step® emergency contraception, visit www.go2planB.com or call toll-free at 1-800-370-1271.

WHC offers Levonorgetrel 1.5 mg tablets, which is also a one-pill emergency contraceptive.  

There are also other generic options called Next Choice One Dose and and My Way.   Cost is approximately $15.00-$30.00 at the pharmacy.

Your insurance may cover emergency contraception if you have a prescription from a health care provider.  

WHC Currently offers

EContra™ EZ

(Levonorgestrel 1.5 mg tablets) for FREE to Minnesota residents.

Please call WHC for assistance at 218-727-3352.


  • Emergency contraception is very effective – 90% – IF you take the pill within 24 hours of unprotected sex.  Intercourse is considered “unprotected” if you did not use any method of birth control or if the condom broke or slipped off, you forgot to take your birth control pill, your patch came off, or if you are late for your Depo shot.

  • There are usually NO side effects, other than slight nausea – if that.

  • It is much less expensive than having an abortion or carrying a pregnancy to term.

  • Emergency Contraception is approved and available for all women without a prescription, over the counter.


  • It cannot be used as an ongoing method of birth control.  This is a “back-up” method only – as it will disrupt your normal menstrual cycle.

  • It will not protect you against STI’s.

  • It is less effective than regular methods of birth control (Pills, Patch, Ring, Depo), so you are advised NOT to rely on it as your only method of birth control.

  • The cost! Plan B One-Step is expensive when purchased over the counter from a pharmacy.  Your insurance may cover EC if you have a prescription from a healthcare provider.


You may experience nausea.  If you vomit within 1 hour of taking EC, call your healthcare professional immediately to see if you should repeat the dose.

Some other side effects that may occur include lower abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, menstrual changes or dizziness.  Menstrual bleeding may be heavier or lighter, earlier or later.  If your period is more than a week late, pregnancy is possible, and you should take a pregnancy test.  Do not take EC if you have undiagnosed vaginal bleeding or are allergic to levonorgestrel.

If you experience severe abdominal pain you may have an ectopic pregnancy and need to seek immediate medical attention.