Hesperian Health Guides

Emergency family planning (Emergency contraception)

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HealthWiki > A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities > How to use the green pages > Emergency family planning


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It is OK to take emergency family planning pills, even if you would not normally use pills for family planning. Because you take them for such a short time, they will not interact with your disability medicines.
You can use emergency pills or regular birth control pills to prevent pregnancy within 5 days after unprotected sex. The number of pills you need depends on the amount of estrogen or progestin each pill contains. This chart lists only a few common brands for each type of pill. Since some brand names are used for more than one type of pill, check the amount of hormone in the pills before you use them in an emergency.

How to take pills for emergency family planning

Pills for emergency
family planning
First
dose

a woman taking pills as the sun is rising.
Second dose
(12 hours later)
a woman taking pills at night.
High-dose pills containing 50 mcg ethinyl estradiol (Ovral, Ogestrel) Take 2 pills Take 2 more pills
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WWD Greenpages Page 357-4.png
Low-dose pills containing 30 or 35 mcg ethinyl estradiol (Lo-Femenal, Lo/Ovral, Microgynon, Nordette) Take 4 pills Take 4 more pills
WWD Greenpages Page 357-5.png
WWD Greenpages Page 357-5.png
Low-dose pills containing 20 mcg ethinyl estradiol (Alesse, Lessina, Lutera) Take 5 pills Take 5 more pills
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WWD Greenpages Page 357-6.png
Special emergency pills containing ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel (Tetragynon) Take 2 pills Take 2 more pills
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WWD Greenpages Page 357-4.png
Progestin-only pills (mini-pills) containing 75 mcg levonorgestrel (Ovrette, Neogest) Take 40 pills, one time only, or 20 pills in one dose and 20 more pills 12 hours later
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Progestin-only pills (mini-pills) containing 30 mcg levonorgestrel (Microlut, Microval, Norgeston) Take 50 pills, one time only, or 25 pills in one dose and 25 more pills 12 hours later
WWD Greenpages Page 339-5.png
Special emergency pills containing 1500 mcg levonorgestrel (Postinor 1) Take one pill, one time only
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Special emergency pills containing 750 mcg levonorgestrel (Postinor, Postinor-2, Plan B, Pill 72, Post-Day) Take 2 pills, one time only
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