Emergency Contraception

Emergency contraception can prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or if the contraception you have used has failed – for example, a condom has split or you have missed a pill. There are 2 types of emergency contraception:

• the emergency contraceptive pill – Levonelle or ellaOne (the “morning after” pill)

• the intrauterine device (IUD or coil)

Facts about emergency contraception

• You need to take the emergency contraceptive pill within 3 days (Levonelle) or 5 days (ellaOne) of unprotected sex for it to be effective – the sooner you take it, the more effective it’ll be.

• The IUD can be fitted up to 5 days after unprotected sex, or up to 5 days after the earliest time you could have ovulated, for it to be effective.

• The IUD is more effective than the contraceptive pill at preventing pregnancy – less than 1% of women who use the IUD get pregnant.

• Taking the emergency contraceptive pills Levonelle or ellaOne can give you a headache or tummy pain and make you feel or be sick.

• The emergency contraceptive pill can make your next period earlier, later or more painful than usual.

• If you’re sick (vomit) within 2 hours of taking Levonelle or 3 hours of taking ellaOne, go to your GP, pharmacist or genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic, as you’ll need to take another dose or have an IUD fitted.

• If you use the IUD as emergency contraception, it can be left in and used as your regular contraceptive method.

• If you use the IUD as a regular method of contraception, it can make your periods longer, heavier or more painful.

• You may feel some discomfort when the IUD is put in, but painkillers can help.

• There are no serious side effects of using emergency contraception.

• Emergency contraception doesn’t cause an abortion.

Who can use the emergency pill?

Most women can use the emergency contraceptive pill. This includes women who can’t use hormonal contraception, such as the combined pill and contraceptive patch. Girls under 16 years old can also use it. But you may not be able to take the emergency contraceptive pill if you’re allergic to anything in it, have severe asthma or take any medicines that may interact with it.

Please see the attached link below for all the information regarding EMERGENCY contraception including, where to get it from, where to buy it from and much more.

Emergency contraception guidelines