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Emergency Contraception

If you have had unprotected sex or your birth control method fails, you still have a chance to prevent pregnancy.  Emergency contraception works primarily by delaying or inhibiting ovulation. According to the World Health Organization, Emergency contraception (EC) can prevent up to over 95% of pregnancies when taken correctly.

Emergency Contraceptive Types:

    • A pill with Levonorgestrel: Brand names include Plan B, My Way, EContra, and others. These are available over the counter.  This must be taken within 72 hours from intercourse to be effective.
    • A pill with Ulipristal: Ella is the only brand and is available only by prescription.  This must be taken within 120 hours from intercourse to be effective.  
  • An IUD: A copper IUD is the most effective form of emergency contraception if placed within 5 days of intercourse.   This can be done at a Planned Parenthood or through a local community gynecological provider.

 Take this quiz to see which emergency contraceptive is best for you

Emergency Contraception at Health Services:

  • We offer Plan B and Ella through walk-in appointments or scheduled appointments at 201-684-7536.
  • Please note, the medication can only be dispensed to the person for whom it is prescribed.  
  • Fee for Emergency Contraception:
  • *The price of Ella and Plan B fluctuates based on pharmacy pricing.  Please call us for the current pricing.
  • Students are not billed in the instance of sexual assault. 
  • Charges to Student Account:
  • The charge is billed to the student account and listed strictly as “Health Services- Clinic Fund”, as with all charges from Student Health Services.
  • Students can pay this off immediately at the Office of Student Accounts before the term bills are sent out. 
  • No one other than the student can find out what this fee was for unless a HIPPA form is signed.

Emergency Contraceptives at Other Locations:

  • CVS Pharmacy, 45 Franklin Tpke., Mahwah, NJ 201-529-5930
  • CVS Pharmacy, 259 N. Franklin Tpke., Ramsey, NJ 201-327-9430
  • CVS Pharmacy, 5 Indian Rock, Suffern, NY 845-357-1500
  • Oakland Drugs, 373 Ramapo Valley Road, Oakland, NJ 201-337-7300
  • Walgreens Pharmacy, 409 Ramapo Valley Road, Oakland, NJ 201-337-2349

Here are some things to consider when choosing an emergency contraceptive pill:

  • Effectiveness: ella is more effective than progestin-only emergency contraceptive (Plan B One-Step), particularly on the 5th day after sex.
  • Your body weight: There is evidence that progestin-only emergency contraception (Plan B One-Step) may be less likely to work for those with a body mass index of 26 or more. If you are overweight, you may want to consider using ella or a copper IUD .
  • Timing since unprotected sex: Sperm can live in the body for 5 days after sex. Research shows that ella is effective up to 5 days after unprotected sex, while progestin-only emergency contraception (Plan B One-Step) may be effective only through the 4th day. If it has been 4 or 5 days since you had unprotected sex, try to make an extra effort to get a prescription for ella or a copper IUD.
  • Your cycle: Although studies show that emergency contraception can work up to 120 hours after sex, what matters for each individual person is where you are in your menstrual cycle. ella works closer to the time of ovulation than progestin-only emergency contraception (although most likely neither will work if you have already ovulated). If you think you might be close to ovulation, or don’t know where you are in your cycle, ella may be the best choice. If you can’t get a prescription for ella in time, but you can get to the pharmacy, it’s still a good idea to get progestin-only emergency contraception over-the-counter and take it as soon as possible.
  • The calendar: If it is a weekend or holiday, your best option may be to get Plan B One-Step from the pharmacy, as Health Services is not open or a health care provider’s office may not be open to provide you with a prescription for ella.
  • Availability: Not all pharmacies carry emergency contraception. Call ahead to find out which brands your pharmacy has in stock. Some pharmacies still do not stock ella, so you may find it easier to get progestin-only emergency contraception.

If you have had unprotected sex, take action right away and find out what your options are. If you are sexually active, it’s always a good idea to have emergency contraception available in case you need it. You can ask your health care provider for a prescription to keep on hand until you need it, or purchase emergency contraception at the pharmacy to keep at home.