Choosing a Birth Control Method
With so many options to choose from, selecting a birth control method can be an overwhelming task. Consider the following questions as you decide on the method that is the best for you.
You may also make an appointment with a Health Educator to discuss birth control options in more detail by calling (858) 534-1824.
Does the method you choose have enough sexually transmitted infection (STI) and
pregnancy protection for you?
- Will this method fit your lifestyle and budget?
- How often do you have intercourse?
- Are you comfortable with touching your genitals?
- What level of involvement does your partner(s) have when making birth control decisions?
Emergency Contraceptive Pill
The emergency contraceptive pill (ECP), previously called the "morning after pill", is a method of preventing pregnancy from occurring after an incident of unprotected intercourse or contraceptive failure (i.e. condom breaks, etc.). The emergency contraceptive pill works by delaying ovulation.
EContra EZ ® and ella® , the brands of ECP carried at Student Health Services (SHS), can be taken up to 72 hours (EContraEZ) or 120 hours (ella) after unprotected intercourse or contraceptive failure; however, the sooner ECP is taken the more effective it will be.
- EContra EZ® does not require a prescription and can be obtained over-the-counter at the SHS Pharmacy. EContra EZ® costs approximately $20 at Student Health Services, however, if you have a prescription, it is free with SHIP.
- ella ® requires a prescription and is free with SHIP, or $48 without SHIP.
ECP is for emergencies only. Using ECP is less effective at preventing pregnancy than using birth control that is used before or during sex (e.g. birth control pills, condom, etc.). ECP is not the abortion pill. If you are already pregnant, ECP will not cause an abortion. Note: The Copper IUD can also be used as a method of emergency contraception if placed within 5 days after unprotected intercourse.