How can I get emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs)?

Where you can get emergency contraceptive (EC) medication depends partly on why you need it and on your age.
  • If you are a victim of sexual assault, of any age, any hospital will provide EC medication at your request.
  • If you are at least 17 years old, you can get Plan B from a pharmacy without a prescription. You must show a driver's license or other government-issued ID to prove your age. (Call the pharmacy ahead to make sure it dispenses Plan B.) Another option, called Plan B One-Step, is available over-the-counter. 
  • If you are under 15 years old and do not consider yourself to be a victim of sexual assault, you need a prescription to get EC medication. Ask your healthcare provider. If your healthcare provider will not give you a prescription, you may be able to get EC through Planned Parenthood.

You can get Plan B at drugstores and stores with a licensed pharmacist. The FDA recently approved Plan B One-Step for sale without a prescription. Plan B, another emergency contraceptive, is available without a prescription to women 17 and older. Ella, a third option, is prescription-only. Women and men must show proof of age to buy emergency contraceptives. If you need emergency contraception, you need to act quickly. Talk to your parents, your doctor, or visit a family planning clinic and ask for help.

Continue Learning about Emergency Contraception

Emergency Contraception

Emergency Contraception

Emergency contraception is used to help keep a woman from getting pregnant after she has unprotected sex or if the birth control method failed. The medication is a concentrated dose of progesterone that prevents the egg from leavi...

ng the ovary, meeting with sperm or attaching to the uterus, depending on your cycle stage. If you are already pregnant, the emergency contraception pill will not work.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.