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Preventing Pregnancy

About Contraception

This chart from orders the methods of contraception by how effective they are. You can visit their website for in-depth information on all types of birth control, and to compare different methods side by side.

You can also check out the Planned Parenthood My Method quiz, which will ask you questions about your lifestyle and preferences to suggest a method of birth control that may work well for you.

About Emergency Contraception

What is emergency contraception?

Sometimes referred to as "Plan B” or "the morning after pill,” emergency contraception (EC) is a safe and effective method of birth control that can prevent pregnancy for up to five days after unprotected sex. It is most effective when taken 72 hours after unprotected sex. EC is not the abortion pill. It will not work if you are already pregnant. It does not protect against sexually transmitted infections or HIV/AIDS. It is important to take action as soon as possible after unprotected sex. Understand your options and take the method that's best for you. View more information on all these methods of EC.

Be Prepared

If you are sexually active and don’t want to get pregnant, you may want to consider keeping emergency contraception at home so you’ll be ready in case you need EC in an emergency.

Where can you find emergency contraception?

  • Anyone can buy Plan B® One-Step, Next Choice One Dose®, Next Choice®, and Lenovorgestrel tablets at a pharmacy without a prescription.
  • ella® is available by prescription to women of all ages. Call ahead to make sure that your pharmacy has ella® in stock, or order ella® online.
  • If you cannot afford the price of EC at the pharmacy, you can still access emergency contraception. There are clinics that provide free or low-cost EC regardless of your immigration status or whether or not you have health insurance, including community health centers, Planned Parenthood, private doctors’ offices, hospitals, and college health centers (usually for students only) throughout the state. Many clinics are able to provide EC at a walk-in visit. Call the nearest clinic or pharmacy before a visit to check their hours of operation and to find out whether you will need an appointment and what paperwork you should bring to your visit.

Locate where to purchase EC in your area using these online resources:

  • and have a search function to find EC near you.
  • offers low-cost emergency contraception that you can buy online. Because of shipping times, this is recommended to buy before you need it.

Protection After an Assault

Under New York State law, you have the right to emergency contraception if you visit the emergency room after a sexual assault. If you have been raped or sexually assaulted and need assistance, go to your local emergency room or contact the New York State Domestic Violence hotline at 1.800.942.6906 (English) or 1.800.942.6908 (Spanish) or The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE or visit their website.