If a condom broke and I had ejaculated, could a pill help my girlfriend not get pregnant?
Yes. Condoms rarely break, but it does happen occasionally. In that case, emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) may help your girlfriend avoid pregnancy.
There are different types of ECPs, often called the morning-after pill. One type, levonorgestrel (brand names: Plan B and Next Choice), is available over the counter to people age 15 and over. It works up to 5 days after having unprotected sex.
The other type, ulipristal acetate (brand name: Ella), is available by prescription only. Ella may be more effective at preventing pregnancy than the levonorgestrel pills and also can be taken up 5 days after unprotected sex.
If you're interested in ECPs, your best bet is to call a doctor, nurse practitioner, or health clinic right away. Or, if you or your girlfriend is 15 or older, you can buy levonorgestrel ECPs over the counter at a pharmacy.
To find out who can provide or prescribe ECPs in your area, visit the website for The Association of Reproductive Health Professionals.
Emergency contraception is most effective when taken as soon as possible after intercourse, although some studies have shown that ECPs can still work up to 120 hours after intercourse.
Taking ECPs is not a guarantee against pregnancy. And ECPs don't prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). So if a condom breaks (or a couple has unprotected sex), it's a good idea to see a health provider to talk about birth control and get tested for STDs.
Reviewed by: Julia Brown Lancaster, MSN, WHNP-BC
Date reviewed: January 2015
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
|Planned Parenthood Info for Teens This site from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America has information on relationships and sexual health for teens.|
|National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy This site provides teen pregnancy facts, resources, and prevention tips.|
|Planned Parenthood Federation of America Planned Parenthood offers information on sexually transmitted diseases, birth control methods, and other issues of sexual health.|
|American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) This site offers information on numerous health issues. The women's health section includes readings on pregnancy, labor, delivery, postpartum care, breast health, menopause, contraception, and more.|
|Condom Before you consider having sex, you need to know how to protect yourself. Read this article to find out how condoms work - and how well they protect against pregnancy and STDs.|
|Birth Control Methods: How Well Do They Work? Some birth control methods work better than others. This chart compares how well different birth control methods work.|
|Emergency Contraception Emergency contraception is used for emergencies only -for example, if a condom breaks or slips off during sex. It is also available to teens who are forced to have unprotected sex.|
|About Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) You've probably heard lots of discouraging news about sexually transmitted diseases. The good news is that STDs can be prevented. Find out how to protect yourself.|
|What if the Condom Breaks? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|Are Condoms 100% Effective? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|About Birth Control Before you consider having sex, you need to know how to protect yourself. Read this article to get the basics on birth control.|
What to expect when coming to Akron Children's
For healthcare providers and nurses
Residency & Fellowships, Medical Students, Nursing and Allied Health
For prospective employees and career-seekers
Our online community that provides inspirational stories and helpful information.