Pop Quiz: Emergency Contraception 101

Allison Bush | April 17, 2012

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True or false: Emergency contraception works by inhibiting or delaying ovulation.
  1. 1 True
  2. 0 False
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Emergency contraception works by stopping an egg from leaving the ovary, stopping the sperm from meeting with the egg, or stopping a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus.

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  1. True or false: Emergency contraception works by inhibiting or delaying ovulation.

    Correct Answer: True

    Emergency contraception works by stopping an egg from leaving the ovary, stopping the sperm from meeting with the egg, or stopping a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus.

  2. True or false: Emergency contraception is the same thing as the abortion pill.

    Correct Answer: False

    Emergency contraception does not cause an abortion. Emergency contraception delays ovulation, may prevent fertilization, and may prevent an egg from becoming attached to the wall of a woman’s uterus. They contain larger doses of the same hormones as regular birth control pills that many women take every day.

  3. True or false: Women need a prescription to get emergency contraceptive pills like Plan B One-Step if they are under the age of 17.

    Correct Answer: False

    Progestin-only emergency contraceptive pills (like Plan B One-Step and Next Choice) are available over the counter or online to anyone of any age. Other types of emergency contraception require a prescription.  

  4. True or false: Emergency contraception can protect women from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

    Correct Answer: False

    Although emergency contraception is effective at preventing pregnancy if taken in a timely manner, it cannot prevent individuals from contracting or spreading STDs, including HIV/AIDS. You should use condoms for every act of vaginal, oral, or anal sex to be protected from STDs.

  5. True or false: After taking emergency contraception, short-term side effects women may experience include infertility and dehydration.

    Correct Answer: False

    Because emergency contraception delivers hormones to a woman’s body, some women may experience nausea, diarrhea, and fatigue after taking it. These side effects are similar to the discomforts that can accompany a woman’s menstrual cycle and are temporary and usually mild. Infertility and dehydration are not known side effects.