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Safely prevent a pregnancy before it starts with emergency contraception

Emergency contraception (EC) refers to contraception, like the morning-after pill or intrauterine device (IUD), that’s used after unprotected sex when either protection wasn’t used, or it didn’t work, i.e. the condom broke or birth control pills were missed.

EC can be very effective

IUDs are 99% effective at preventing pregnancy after unprotected sex but they need to be inserted by a healthcare professional within 5 days. The morning-after pill is 89% effective when taken within 72 hours and can be found at CVS, other retail pharmacies, or online. No prescription or ID is required.

Is using EC common?

Yes! 24.3% of women 22–49 years who have had sexual intercourse have used emergency contraception. Source: National Survey of Family Growth, 2017–2019.

The morning-after pill is easy to find and take

The morning-after pill (like Julie) helps stop a pregnancy before it starts by preventing ovulation.

✔ One-step pill

✔ No prescription, ID, or credit card needed

✔ Legal in all 50 states 

✔ 89% effective when used within 72 hours 

✔ FDA approved since 1999

Important facts about the morning-after pil

• Timing matters: it’s 89% effective when taken within 72 hours but more effective the sooner you take it.

• It’s not an abortion pill: it cannot terminate or harm a pregnancy if you have already conceived.

• It’s okay to use it multiple times. There are no long-term side effects.

• It won’t affect your ability to get pregnant in the future

• It’s safe when used as directed but there can be some short-term side effects such as, changes in your period, nausea, lower stomach (abdominal) pain, tiredness, headache, dizziness, and breast tenderness. See side effects
• The risk of pregnancy after taking the morning-after pill can be is a little higher for women over 165 pounds.See effectiveness

Emergency Contraception
Find this product near you at CVS
Where to find the morning-after pill
in store

Helpful resources

Questions about ovulation, fertility, what to expect after taking the morning-after pill, and more? We can help.
When used as directed, Julie is safe and effective. Common side effects may include changes in your period, nausea, lower stomach pain, tiredness, headache, dizziness and breast tenderness. Julie will not protect you from HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any medication

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