ACCESS EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION

 

Access to safe, reliable contraception is an essential part of basic health care.  And we believe that all of us should have access to the tools we need to stay healthy and plan for our future and our families — including access to emergency contraception.

Accidents happen- no judgments. Incidences of unprotected sex can be caused by the heat of the moment but it can also result from a failed primary birth control option like a broken condom, or cases like sexual assault. Whatever happened, it’s important to know that you have options available to you in that time of need. Yes, even though the deed has been done, there is still a way to lower your risk of getting pregnant and we're here to help.

** Due to the impacts of COVID, our small, Ohio-serving organization is unable to directly ship EC at this time. We have partnered with The Garden in Columbus for no-cost EC pick-up. You can find store details below. We hope to be able to build our program back out to have more locations in the future, as the world opens up, but right now we are limiting the errands we ask our staff to do. **

In the meantime, we recommend looking up funds that are local to you and reaching out to them to see if they can assist. Here is a list of abortion funds by state: https://abortionfunds.org/need-abortion/

There are a lot of ways to access free or reduced-cost emergency contraception, in an emergency or to just have some on hand. See below for more information about insurance coverage and lower-cost options (as low as $6.99, without insurance). There are even no-contact online options!

We may be able to assist Ohio residents in immediate need with financial assistance to access EC. Please contact [email protected] 

In Columbus, you can get access EC, provided by WHO/O, for free during business hours (Mon-Sat: 10a - 3a Sun: 12p-3a) at The Garden (1174 N. High Street). 

 

Frequently asked questions about Emergency Contraception:

How can I get Free or Reduced Cost EC?

A:

There are many brand options for emergency contraceptive pills and they are stocked by all major pharmacy chains and available online, but be sure to call ahead to make sure that EC is available in your local pharmacy. Below is some information about how the different brands of EC are sold and how to access them for free or at a lower cost. Basic, over-the-counter EC (Levonorgestrel) can cost anywhere from free (with insurance) to $6.99-$50 (without insurance.) 

 

  • Many insurance plans (including Medicaid) will cover Emergency Contraception at NO COST to you. You just need a prescription. You can contact your local health department or local Planned Parenthood to get more information. There are also many online pharmacies that can get the prescription you need. Some examples are NURX, WISP, GoodRx, and many more. Many online retailers have the option to directly ship or call your prescription into your local pharmacy. *
  • Progestin-only EC (like Plan B One-Step and its generic forms like Take Action, Next Choice One Dose and My Way) are approved for unrestricted sale on store shelves and online. Anyone can buy it without needing to show ID. Plan B One-Step usually costs about $50, and the generics cost between $6.99 and $40. 
  • You can order a generic form of Plan B One-Step at www.afterpill.com for $20 + $5 shipping. This site does not offer expedited shipping, so it's not meant for emergency use, but you can stock up and keep it on hand for future use.*
  • You can order bulk EC or individual boxes of EC on Amazon for $6.99 or up to $50 (but seriously, it all works the same.)*
  • If you have access to Walmart, they carry EC for less than $11. At the pharmacy, ask for MYChoice EC or generic, Levonorgestrel EC. Learn more about Emergency Contraceptive access and low-cost options below.*
  • Ella is sold by prescription only, regardless of age. You can also order Ella online at KwikMed or prjktruby for $67, including next-day shipping.*

 

* WHO/O is not endorsing any specific retail outlets or online retailers, this is for informational purposes only. 

How does EC work?

Most emergency contraceptives use the same ingredient as most birth controls pills—just at a higher dose—to help prevent pregnancy before it starts.

A:

While there are many brands, the one we are currently carrying is Preventeza™

Preventeza™ / Levonorgestrel Tablet, 1.5 mg is one tablet with levonorgestrel, a hormone that has been used in many birth control pills for several decades. Levonorgestrel Tablet, 1.5 mg contains a higher dose of levonorgestrel than birth control pills, but works in a similar way to prevent pregnancy. It works mainly by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary. It is possible that Levonorgestrel Tablet, 1.5 mg may also work by preventing fertilization of an egg (the uniting of sperm with the egg) or by preventing attachment (implantation) to the uterus (womb).

  • Contains 1.5 mg of Levonorgestrel
  • Use as directed within 72 hours of unprotected sex
  • Works mainly by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary. May also prevent fertilization of an egg or prevent a fertilized egg from being attached to the uterus
  • Not for regular birth control
  • Does NOT protect against sexually transmitted infections

Is EC like medication abortion?

The short answer is NO.

A:

TLDR: NO. 

Emergency contraception commonly referred to as the morning-after pill, Plan B (which is a brand), or EC, is not the “abortion pill.”  It postpones ovulation before pregnancy can occur, emergency contraception serves as a safe and effective birth control option when things don’t work out as planned. When you fear that you could become pregnant because your contraception failed or because you had unprotected sex, you need fast, timely access to this backup birth control option.

Click HERE for general information about emergency contraception from Planned Parenthood.

For specific information about Preventeza™ the brand of EC we are currently giving away, click HERE.

How Effective is it?

A:

If Preventeza/ Levonorgestrel Tablet, 1.5 mg is taken as directed, it can significantly decrease the chance that you will get pregnant. About 7 out of every 8 women (unfortunately, the study did not include N/B folks or trans men) who would have gotten pregnant will not become pregnant.

*There is evidence that progesterone only EC (over the counter EC) is less effective (still effective, but not as much) for larger folks. Ella or a copper IUD insertion may be the best option if you weigh more than 170 lbs

Are there side effects?

A:

Some may experience the following side effects:

  • Changes in your period, such as a period that is heavier or lighter or a period that is early or late. If your period is more than a week late, you may be pregnant. 
  • If you have severe abdominal pain, you may have an ectopic pregnancy, and should get immediate medical attention. 
  • When used as directed, Levonorgestrel Tablet, 1.5 mg is safe and effective. Side effects may include changes in your period, nausea, lower stomach (abdominal) pain, tiredness, headache, dizziness, and breast tenderness. 
  • If you vomit within 2 hours of taking the medication, call a healthcare professional to find out if you should repeat the dose.