According to a study published in Fertility and Sterility, since emergency contraception (EC) became available to women without a prescription, the number of women using EC has doubled. The study, written by Megan Kavanaugh, a senior researcher at the Guttmacher Institute, found that after EC became available without a prescription in 2006, 10 percent of the 6,300 sexually active women studied, between 15-44, reported using it, as compared to 4 percent prior to 2006.
Only 3 percent of the women reported that their doctors had discussed EC with them. Kavanaugh encouraged women to consult with their doctors about the use of EC in pregnancy prevention. She noted that the use of emergency contraception, “still seems relatively low, given that it’s easy to access.”
Levonorgestrel, sold under the brand name Plan B, is a form of emergency contraception that must be taken within 72 hours of sexual activity. Emergency contraception or the “morning-after” pill is available over the counter to women over the age of 17 in the United States.