Emergency Contraception

If you have unprotected sex or experience birth control failure, you have options. You will want to get tested for STIs, and if you are worried about unintended pregnancy, you can use a variety of emergency contraception methods.

emergency-contraception_1_thumb.jpgWhat is emergency contraception?

options_thumb.jpg  What are my options and how do they work?

Cost_thumb.jpgHow much does it cost? 

Where_thumb.jpg  Where can I get it?

what-if_thumb.jpg  What if I become pregnant?

images_2_thumb.jpg  Chicago Area Clinics and Pharmacies 

What is emergency contraception?
Emergency contraception, or EC, is a birth control method that is used after unprotected sex or birth control failure. It’s sometimes called “the morning after pill” or known by the brand name “Plan B.” EC prevents a pregnancy before it begins by stopping the fertilization and implantation of an egg. There are a variety of options, but with all of them, it’s important to take action soon after unprotected sex to ensure they work properly.

Additionally, if you think you may have been exposed to HIV, a new treatment called PEP (for “post-exposure prophylaxis”) can greatly reduce your risk of contracting the virus when taken after potential exposure.

What are my options and how do they work?
There are a few different methods available when you need EC. Two different kinds of pills are available, or you can have a non-hormonal IUD inserted. Some options require a prescription or a doctor’s visit--be sure to consult with a healthcare professional about what is best for you. 

Same day appointments for emergency contrception prescriptions are available at Student Health Service

How much does it cost? 
Prices for EC methods vary. Plan B is available over the counter and usually costs around $50, while ella, an IUD, and PEP costs will all depend on insurance coverage. Clinics like Planned Parenthood and the Chicago Women’s Health Center offer financial assistance and sliding-scale pricing based on need, and you may qualify just by being a student.

Where can I get it?
You can get various kinds of EC from your doctor or at health clinics. Where you go will depend on what kind of EC you are seeking. See below for a list of Chicago-area resources and clinics.

IUD_thumb.jpg IUD insertion: From a doctor (you can get a referral at SHS), or at clinics Planned Parenthood 
Plan b_thumb.jpg Plan B: Pharmacies (no prescription needed), and at clinics like Planned Parenthood  or the Chicago Women’s Health Center
Ella_0.png ella: Prescription available from SHS or other health-care provider, and at clinics like Planned Parenthood . Can also be ordered online.
maxresdefault_0.jpg PEP: Prescription available from health-care provider, in an emergency room, or at LGBTQ health clinics like Howard Brown.

What if I become pregnant?
There are a variety of options available to you when considering this very personal decision. You may choose to get an abortion, or to carry the pregnancy to term and look into adoption or parenting. Counseling and resource referrals are available at most family planning and women’s health clinics. Abortion services are provided at Planned Parenthood clinics as well as at UChicago’s Ryan Center for Family Planning.

Chicago Area Clinics and Pharmacies 

UChicago Medicine

Planned Parenthood

Other Resources

Nearby Pharmacies

Student Health Services
860 E 59th St
(773) 702-4156

Same day appointments for
emergency contrception
prescriptions are available.
Planned Parenthood - Englewood
6059 S Ashland Avenue
(773) 434-3700 
Chicago Women’s Health Center
1025 W Sunnyside Ave
(773) 935-6126
Walgreens Hyde Park
1554 E 55th St
Chicago, IL 60615
(773) 667-1177
 UChicago Medicine Ryan Center for Family Planning
5758 S Maryland Ave
Phone: (773) 834-9995
 Planned Parenthood - Loop
18 S Michigan Ave
(312) 592-6700 
Howard Brown Health Clinic
641 W 63rd St
(773) 388-1600
CVS Hyde Park
1228 E 53rd St
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 752-1425
UChicago Medicine Gynecology
5758 S. Maryland Avenue
    University of Chicago DCAM Pharmacy
5758 S Maryland Ave
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 702-1000


More information about emergency contraception can be found at bedsider.org. To learn more about PEP, check out this page from the CDC.