Emergency Contraception (Morning After Pill)

Brand Names: Plan B and Ella

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Sometimes called the “Morning After Pill,” emergency contraception is used as pregnancy prevention after unprotected sex or suspected contraceptive failure.
  • It contains levonorgestrel, which is a synthetic hormone (progestin) commonly used in birth control pills.
  • It is emergency birth control that prevents pregnancy. It is not an abortion pill that terminates pregnancy.
  • Stops ovulation: It temporarily stops ovaries from releasing an egg
  • Stops fertilization: It makes the meeting of an egg and sperm less likely
  • Some people may have concerns about the effects of emergency contraception on a fertilized egg. Most recent studies show little, if any, effect. If this is a concern, please come and discuss it with one of the providers at the UMF Student Health Center

If you have:

  • Had sex without prior arrangements or plans and used no precautionary  measures
  • Had a condom break, slip, or come off
  • Started a new pack of pills late or missed pills; if your non-hormone week on the pill, patch, or ring is longer than 7 days
  • Been forced to have sex
  • Had sex using the withdrawal method as the only contraception
  • Unintentionally let outercourse lead to intercourse
  • Been late in getting your birth control shot

We recommend you have Plan B or Ella on hand if:

  • You and your partner are relying on only condoms for birth control. Emergency contraception can come in handy in case of condom failure.
  • You are not sexually active that often and don’t want to take daily contraception. Having emergency contraception AND condoms nearby for an unplanned sexual encounter would be a prudent choice.
  • You want to back up your regular hormonal birth control if you have not used it correctly. Approximately 50% of all unintended pregnancies occur because of a contraceptive failure, usually user error. If you use your hormonal contraceptives (pill, patch, ring) inconsistently, emergency contraception can significantly reduce your risk of pregnancy.

Studies show you are more likely to take a form of emergency contraception if you have it on hand instead of having to go somewhere to get it.

We recommend you have Plan B or Ella on hand:

  • Emergency contraception is most effective when taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex but may be taken up to 120 hours or 5 days later
  • If taken within 24 hours, it reduces risk by 95%
  • Reduces risk of pregnancy by 89% if taken within 72 hours
  • Most women’s menstrual cycle will not be affected — 87% get their next period within one week of when expected
  • If your period is more than one week late go to the UMF Student Health Center for a pregnancy test
  • Plan B and Ella are for emergency use, although there is nothing wrong with using these multiple times. It is not as effective as using regular birth control correctly.
  • You should not take emergency contraception if you are already pregnant; although it will not terminate an existing pregnancy (Numerous studies show that it does not have any effect on a fetus.)

Studies show you are more likely to take a form of emergency contraception if you have it on hand instead of having to go somewhere to get it.

The best option for students is to buy emergency contraception from the UMF Student Health Center for immediate or future use. The cost is $10 (Plan B) or $30 (Ella).

The UMF Student Health Center is located at 245 Main Street inside the Scott Hall residence hall. The entrance is at the right-hand side of building. Look for the sign above the stairs.

The UMF Student Health Center is open when classes are in session during the fall and spring semesters.

  • Monday & Tuesday  8:00am – 4:00pm
  • Wednesday  9:30am – 4:00pm
  • Thursday & Friday  8:00am – 4:00pm

Important confidentiality reminder:

All services provided by the UMF Student Health Center are strictly confidential. We will not share any information about your healthcare with anyone without your permission.

See more about our Privacy & Confidentiality practices

Contact Us

We’re here to help you. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Student Health Center
Located inside Scott Hall Residence Hall
University of Maine at Farmington
245 Main Street
Farmington, ME 04938
tel  207-778-7200
fax  207-778-8183
TYY (via Maine Relay Service) dial 711