Emergency Contraception



Have you had unprotected sex?


Unprotected sex is sex without using contraception, where you have not been taking your pill properly or when you think the condom may have split or come off during sex. You can get pregnant any time you have unprotected sex even if you are on your period or if the guy pulls out before he comes.


Don’t Panic


To stop you getting pregnant you need emergency contraception. It’s important to act quickly. If you are unsure if you need emergency contraception you should speak to a doctor or pharmacist anyway.


Types of emergency contraception:

  • The emergency IUD (also known as the coil), can be used up to 5 days after sex and is the most effective. This is available from sexual health clinics and some GPs (it needs to be fitted by a specially trained doctor or nurse so you should phone first to check that someone can fit one). You can continue to use this as your regular contraception
  • There is another type of emergency contraceptive pill (Ella-one) which you can take up to 5 days after unprotected sex but is only available with a prescription and is not available in pharmacies
  • A pill known as emergency hormonal contraception (Levonelle) this works within 3 days after sex (but it works better the sooner you take it). This is available from sexual health clinics, pharmacies and your GP


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