Emergency Contraception

Emergency Contraception Options for Survivors

Emergency Contraception can be used after a sexual assault to reduce the chance of pregnancy. The “morning after pill” and the copper intrauterine device (IUD) are the two main types of emergency contraception.

The “morning after pill”, or oral emergency contraception, can reduce the chance of pregnancy by 50% to 60% if taken as soon as possible within five days of the sexual assault. Progestin (known as Plan B, Contingency One or Backup Plan One-step) and Ulipristal Acetate (known as Ella) are the two main types of oral contraception.

Progestin and the Ulipristal Acetate pills may be less effective for people who weigh over 165 pounds (Options or Sexual Health, n.d.; Government of BC, 2023).

Progestin is more effective if taken within 3 days of the sexual assault (Planned Parenthood, n.d.).

A copper IUD is the most effective, long acting, reversible emergency contraception if inserted within seven days of the sexual assault. An IUD is a small T-shaped device that is inserted into the uterus by a healthcare provider. 

To obtain a copper IUD:

  • A prescription is required.
  • There is no cost for anyone with the BC Medical Services Plan.
  • The cost ranges from $50 to $150 for people without health insurance.


An IUD can only be inserted by a qualified healthcare provider. To find a clinician that can help insert an emergency contraception IUD, go to emergencyiud.com (Options or Sexual Health, n.d.; Options or Sexual Health, n.d.; Government of BC, 2023).

Follow the links below for more information on emergency contraception:

Free Contraceptives – Pharmacare process for BC residents

Emergency Contraception Comparison Table

Some clinics offer free oral emergency contraception. Click here for more information.

Survivors can get the Progestin (levonorgestrel) pill without a prescription from a:

  • Physician
  • Public health nurse
  • Pharmacy
  • Walk-in clinic
  • Youth clinic
  • Sexual health clinic
  • Women’s health or sexual assault centre
  • Hospital emergency room (HealthLinkBC, 2023)


Anyone enrolled in the BC Medical Services Plan can get the Contingency One or Backup Plan One-step brand morning after pill from a pharmacist for free. The cost of Plan B, about $40, is partially covered by PharmaCare.

Ulipristal Acetate pill (e.g., brand name Ella) requires a prescription and costs between $40 to $60 (Options or Sexual Health, n.d.; Government of BC, 2023).

Questions? Contact our Community Coordination for Survivor Safety (CCSS) team at ccss@endingviolence.org.

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