Emergency Contraception

A new health unit to serve our communities better – We are working to update the information on this page to reflect our new organization as Southwestern Public Health. Currently this information reflects Elgin St. Thomas area only. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. For information about Oxford County area programs and services, please call 1-800-922-0096 or visit: http://www.oxfordcounty.ca/Sexual-health


You get caught up in the heat of the moment, and have sex without contraception. Maybe the condom breaks, you forgot to take your regular birth control, or worst case, you were sexually assaulted.  Regardless how it happens, unprotected sex can cause an unplanned pregnancy. This can be a scary experience, but Southwestern Public Health can help with something called emergency contraception (EC).

What is it?

  • EC are pills that women can take to prevent a pregnancy from happening
  • Public health stocks a brand of EC called Plan B
  • Plan B is a pill made up of a synthetic hormone called Levonorgestrel
  • Plan B is not an abortion pill
  • Plan B can be used up to 5 days after unprotected sex, but the sooner it is taken the more effective it is
    • 95% effective if taken within the first 24 hours after sex
    • 85% effective if taken 25-48 hours after sex
    • 58% effective if taken 49-72 hours after sex
    • Less than 58% effective if taken between 72-120 hours after sex
    • Effectiveness of ECP is decreased if a woman is over 165 pounds

Where can I get it?


Go to the nearest pharmacy where you can get it without a prescription (prices vary). 

Women requiring Plan B can come to the sexual health drop in clinic  to speak with a nurse. Unfortunately, the nurse cannot give these pills to anyone other than the woman who requires them. 

Cost of the Plan B at the Health Unit is $13 (cash/debit). 

Women 24 and under are eligible for free Plan B from a pharmacy. Talk to a sexual health nurse for more information.



Pregnancy Testing and Options

Sexually Transmitted Infections

Healthy Relationships/Consent


More Information

SexualityandU (The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC))

What’s Next For Me?

Canadian Plan B (Paladin Labs Inc.)

Last Updated: November 23, 2017
For more information contact