What is emergency contraception? Emergency contraception is a way to try to prevent pregnancy if you recently had sex. "Contraception" is another word for birth control. 

You might use emergency contraception if:

  • You missed a dose (or more) of your regular birth control pills, or you missed your Depo injection.
  • The condom broke or slipped off during sex.
  • You had a problem with your regular birth control (for example, your skin patch came off or your vaginal ring fell out).
  • You had sex without using birth control.

Emergency contraception lowers the risk of pregnancy. It works by blocking the release of an egg from the ovary. It does not end a pregnancy that has already started.