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Pregnancy Prevention 101

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Emergency Contraception
Health A-Z
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    IUD
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    Health A-Z slideshow-slide 1. IUD
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    Condoms
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    Health A-Z slideshow-slide 2. Condoms
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    Behavioral Methods
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    Health A-Z slideshow-slide 3. Behavioral Methods
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    The Pill
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    Health A-Z slideshow-slide 4. The Pill
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    Patch & Shot
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    Diaphragm
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    Permanent Birth Control
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    Health A-Z slideshow-slide 7. Permanent Birth Control
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    When Birth Control Fails
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    Health A-Z slideshow-slide 8. When Birth Control Fails
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    Emergency Contraception
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    Contraception Conception
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9. Emergency Contraception

If the condom slips, you're a day behind on the pill, or just have a gut feeling something may have gone wrong, there's emergency contraception, also known as the morning after pill.

Emergency contraception isn't an abortion pill. It works like standard birth control pills, but has a higher dose of progestin (or ulipristal acetate), and prevents ovulation. Over-the-counter varieties of the morning-after pill prevent pregnancy 89 percent of the time if taken within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse.

But, the sooner you swallow that little pill, the more effective it can be. Just be sure to read the instructions to know exactly what to do, and ask the pharmacist if you aren't sure. Anyone 17 and older can get emergency contraception pills without a prescription at most pharmacies.

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Did You Know?

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According to a 2010 study...
quote According to a 2010 study...

According to a 2010 study from the National Center for Health Statistics, about 10 percent of women aged 15 to 44 have used emergency contraception between the years 2006 and 2008.