Emergency Contraception (EC)

For All Students

What options are available?

The most commonly known medication is Levonorgestrel Emergency Contraception (EC) AKA Plan B, Next Choice, EContra EZ.  It is available at the pharmacy without a prescription and is to be taken as soon as possible within 72 hours of unprotected sex or birth control failure. Ulipristal AKA Ella is an alternative EC which can be taken up to 120 hours after unprotected intercourse, which requires a prescription and therefore a visit to a clinician or a pharmacist. Call our appointment line at 459-2500 or visit the Same Day clinic or the Pharmacy.

What are the directions for taking EC?

The patient can take one tablet as soon as possible within 72 hours after unprotected sex.

Are there any side effects after taking EC?

Side effects are minimal with EC. Some patients may experience mild nausea and some people get temporary breast tenderness until their next menstrual cycle. - Also, EC will often change the timing for menstruation.

How effective is EC?

EC is effective approximately 90% of the time when used within 72 hours. It is not 100% effective. It is more effective the sooner it is used. Contraception must be used consistently at all times to prevent pregnancy. If you use EC, and if you do not begin menstruation within 3 weeks, then you need to perform a pregnancy test.

What about payment for EC?

Fees can be put on your student bill – NOTE: the UCSC billing statement only states "Pharmacy - $20.00", the current price for EC over the counter.

Is it Covered by insurance?

Yes, with a prescription, UCSHIP covers both forms of EC and covers 100% of the cost.

Who can get EC at UCSC Pharmacy (and many local pharmacies)?

Emergency contraception is now available without a prescription.

Are there any requirements?

None.

Can anyone buy it?

Yes. It does not have to be the patient and it can be sold to women and men.

Are there any restrictions on getting it often or getting more than one at a time?

There are no other restrictions. Students can get more than one at a time and can get it as often as they like.