Do We Really Need 5 Days to Get Emergency Contraception?

Once, when I was in college, I took emergency contraception pills. The protection my boyfriend and I were using failed, and I hightailed it to the student health center the next morning. I knew that the sooner I used the so-called “morning-after” pill, the better, and because of that I felt lucky that it was easily accessible to me.

This was before the days of Preven and Plan B, when birth control pills were used “off label” for the purpose. Today, although I’d be able to get the FDA-approved levonorgestrel (Plan B) without a prescription, the time crunch would still apply: it’s supposed to be used within 72 hours after having sex. But now, as USA Today reports, an FDA advisory panel is set to meet this week to discuss approving (or not) a different version of the morning-after pill—one that would give women a bit more of a time cushion. The drug, ulipristal acetate, is already available in Europe and is purportedly effective for five days after having sex.

Are those two extra days necessary? Consider this: The Missouri House recently passed a provision that would let pharmacies refuse to sell Plan B, which might make it difficult to find for some women to find. In that case, a couple of extra days could mean everything.

What do you think of the new emergency contraception pill? Chime in below!

Like this? Read these:
- Choosing a Birth Control Method
- New Contraception Prevents Pregnancy Up to 5 Days After Sex
- Emergency Contraception

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