What is emergency contraception (EC)?
Emergency contraception, also called the morning after pill, Plan B, or Plan B One-Step, is a medication given to reduce your chances of pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse or contraceptive failure. EC does not protect against sexually transmitted infections. EC is meant for one-time emergency protection and not intended as a form of birth control.
How to obtain EC and/or get counseling information
EC is available as an over-the-counter medication for women age 17 and older. It can be purchased without a prescription at the HUHS Pharmacy and at local pharmacies. It should be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sexual intercourse; the sooner it is taken, the more effective it is.
Harvard University female students can obtain EC at no cost in our clinics and after hours urgent care. The HUHS pharmacy, in the Holyoke arcade, can also dispense Plan B One-Step at no cost to female Harvard students with a valid Harvard ID who are age 17 or older. A government-issued ID to prove age will be required. Women under the age of 17 will need a prescription.
Plan B One-Step is a pill containing levonorgestrel, the same ingredient found in certain brands of birth control pills. Plan B One-Step contains more levonorgestrel than found in a regular birth control pill, and contains only progestin, not estrogen. At the time of dispensing, a nurse, doctor, pharmacist, or technician under the direct supervision of a pharmacist will provide counseling on how to use Plan B One-Step.
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