There are 2 kinds of ECs available:
- hormonal methods; and
- copper IUD.
1. Hormonal methods:
2 options are available that delay the release of an egg when taken before ovulation:
- Plan B – 1 pill taken within 72 hrs of unprotected sex.
- Ella – 1 pill taken within 5 days of unprotected sex.
EC does not replace regular methods of birth control. These medications are available from a pharmacy, sexual health clinic, or your community health centre.
2. Copper IUDs:
- Can be used as emergency contraception within 7 days of unprotected intercourse.
- Copper destroys sperm so it can’t fertilize an egg.
- If a sperm does fertilize an egg the IUD prevents it from attaching to the uterus wall.
- Requires a prescription.
- Requires a health care professional to insert.
- Can be left in place for 3 to 10 years depending on the brand used.
- Requires a health care provider to remove.