Your Top Emergency-Contraception Questions, Answered

Sure, babies are super sweet — but so are nights out with friends, and flowers from the cute person who just asked you out on another date. For those of us who aren’t yet ready to take the leap into parenthood, there are few things more anxiety-inducing than a pregnancy scare.

Whether you got carried away in the moment, forgot to take your birth control pills, or the condom broke, accidents — and unprotected sex — do happen, which might explain why roughly one in nine U.S. women has used emergency contraception. This fact also highlights why access to EC is so important. Thankfully, as of 2013, you can purchase levonorgestrel-containing EC pills, like Plan B One-Step, without a prescription. That means you can buy EC at your local drugstore, whenever you need it — no frantic, last-minute calls to your doctor necessary.

Unfortunately, confusion over how emergency contraception prevents pregnancy — and the risks associated with it — has led to a lot of misinformation. To clear up the rumors, we asked experts to answer six of the most common questions about EC.