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A new emergency contraception pill just hit store shelves—here’s what you need to know


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Photo: Well+Good Creative

When Plan B One-Step finally became available over the counter to women of all ages in 2013, it marked a major victory for women’s reproductive rights. And now, there’s another notch toward progress to celebrate regarding a woman’s right to choose.

The makers of Vagisil recently debuted an emergency contraception pill, Preventeza, which has the same active ingredient, levonorgestrel, and amount as Plan B, Women’s Health reports. And given that current offerings for “morning-after” pills are slim, this similar addition to the market is welcome. Think about it: If you really need emergency contraception, but the drugstore has none in stock when you go to buy it, isn’t it ideal to have multiple options available? June Gupta, associate director of medical standards at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, sure thinks so. “Having more options for emergency contraception stocked on store shelves will make it more accessible to everyone—and that means more people can prevent unintended pregnancy,” she says.

“Having more options for emergency contraception stocked on store shelves will make it more accessible to everyone—and that means more people can prevent unintended pregnancy.” —June Gupta, associate director of medical standards at Planned Parenthood Federation of America

According to Preventeza’s landing page, the pill—available in stores, at Planned Parenthood, and on Vagisil’s website for standard or next-day delivery—contains active ingredients common to birth control pills, but at a higher dose. It can effectively stop the release of an egg from the ovary, prevent an egg from fertilizing, and stop a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus—all of which lead to a prevented pregnancy.

Just as with Plan B One-Step, the pill “works best when you take it within 72 hours (three days) after unprotected sex, but you can take them up to five days after,” says Gupta. And at $47, it doesn’t offer a lower price than Plan B; in fact, Take Action Levonorgestrel Emergency Contraceptive contains the same amount of levonorgestrel as both, and also outprices both options at $34.78 on Walmart.com. But, as Preventeza’s website notes, “condoms may break and pills can be missed. In fact, approximately one in two pregnancies are unintended.” So having options is key.

Speaking of reproductive health, here’s what you need to know about synthetic birth control. Plus, here’s what really happens when you hit “pause” on your fertility

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