The Sex Question of the Day is…

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How late after sex can you take the morning after pill?

Dr. Sawyer: The most frequently used morning-after-pill (emergency contraceptive or EC) is Plan-B, which is approved to be effective up to three days after sex. A more recent addition to the market is Ella, which has been approved for up to five days after sex, so you can see the “morning-after” name on these products isn’t too accurate. However, there’s little doubt that the sooner a woman takes EC after sex, the more likely that she won’t become pregnant. So if that condom broke or you were too hammered to even think about contraception, don’t bask in the glow of that five-day window of opportunity, get EC as soon as possible.

Dr. Robin Sawyer is a professor of health and human sexuality at the University of Maryland. He's the author of Sexpertise: Real Answers to Real Questions About Sex and producer of four films on human sexuality. Want his answers? Send your questions to [email protected] We’ll keep it confidential.

Freshman > Media & Cultural Studies > University of California, Riverside

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