Emergency contraception

Alternative Names

Morning-after pill; Postcoital contraception; Birth control – emergency; Plan B

Definition of Emergency contraception

Emergency contraception is a method to prevent pregnancy in women who have had unprotected sex, or for whom a barrier method has failed (slipped condom, diaphragm, or cervical cap, or broken condom).


Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Redmond, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 3/30/2010

Intrauterine device
Side sectional view of female reproductive system
Hormone-based contraceptives
Birth control methods

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

Article written by

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability.