Emergency Contraception

Notice
Emergency contraception is no longer provided at the Frederick County Health Department. If you have a need or have questions about emergency contraception, contact Planned Parenthood MD at 301-662-7171 or your pharmacy.

What is Emergency Contraception?
Emergency contraception (EC) can help prevent pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse.
  • The EC pill is a birth control pill but taken in a higher amount prescribed by a doctor.
  • EC should be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex, but could be taken within 72 to 120 hours, depending on the product. The sooner you take it, the more effective it will be.
How Does it Work?
EC pills work in one of 3 ways:
  • By preventing sperm from fertilizing the egg
  • By preventing you from releasing an egg
  • By preventing the egg from attaching to the uterus
If you are already pregnant, the EC Pill will not work. The EC Pill will not end or harm a pregnancy.

Why Would I Need EC?
Some possible reasons for needing EC are:
  • The condom broke or slipped off
  • Birth control pills were missed
  • Your regular contraceptive shot was missed or late
  • You were forced to have sex
  • No birth control was used