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Prepare for Emergencies by Securing Contraception

February 05, 2001|JUDY FOREMAN

Even without emergency contraception pills becoming available over the counter, there are several things you can do to prevent pregnancy if you act quickly.

First, be prepared. Ask your doctor for a prescription for Plan B, Preven or regular birth control pills to be used as emergency contraception. Fill the prescription and keep it handy, at home or in your purse.

Emergency contraception works best in the first 12 hours after sex, but it is effective up to 72 hours later.

If you think you would like to use an IUD (intrauterine device) for regular contraception and you need emergency contraception as well, go to a doctor and ask for a copper IUD. This will prevent pregnancy if inserted up to five to seven days after unprotected sex.

Remember that emergency contraception is designed only to prevent pregnancy, not as a treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. If you think you have been exposed to HIV or another sexually transmitted disease, call a doctor immediately.

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For more information on emergency contraception, call the "Not-2-late" hotline at (888) 668-2528 or visit the Web site, http://www.not-2-late.com.

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