Emergency contraception

Providing pregnancy prevention after unprotected sex.

A short-term method of contraception.

Emergency contraception pills help to prevent a pregnancy when taken up to five days after unprotected sex.

They work by preventing or delaying the release of an egg from the ovaries. A very popular type of emergency contraception involves taking one or two tablets of a particular hormone. This is sometimes called ‘the morning after pill’ or ‘Plan B’.

An intrauterine device (IUD) can also be used as emergency contraception as it can prevent a fertilised egg from settling in the womb.

Effectiveness

Emergency contraception works well at preventing a pregnancy after unprotected sex. In general the sooner an emergency contraceptive is used the more effective it is at stopping a pregnancy.

Pricing

Please contact us on 0800222333 for more information about pricing.

If you're starting to use contraception for the first time, or thinking about using a new method, it's a good idea to have a full consultation.

Call us toll-free for a confidential chat

0800 220 333

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Emergency contraception advantages

Emergency contraception offers the following advantages as a short-term method of contraception:

  • It is safe for almost all women
  • Using emergency contraception does not affect long term fertility
  • It does not cause an abortion
  • You can use emergency contraception at any time in your menstrual cycle
  • Emergency contraception is not harmful to your health.

Things to consider

When deciding if emergency contraception is a method right for you, here are a few quick facts you should consider:

  • It will only work for sex that occurred in the previous five days
  • It is not recommended as a regular method of contraception
  • Unlike condoms, it does not protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • It may have some side effects, such as bleeding, nausea and fatigue.

Other methods of contraception at a glance

Condoms

Male and females condoms are a barrier contraception method for preventing pregnancy and STIs.

When used correctly, condoms are highly effective. Condoms are also the only contraceptive method that protect against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV and syphilis.

Contraceptive implant

The implant is a highly effective, long-acting and reversible method of contraception.

It consists of either 1 or 2 small plastic rods that are placed in the upper arm and, depending on the product used, is effective at preventing pregnancy for 3 to 5 years.

Injectable

The injectable or contraceptive injection is an effective, long-acting and reversible method of contraception.

It works by releasing a hormone that stops eggs being released by the body. Injectables are highly effective, lasting 2 to 3 months (depending on the type used), but women must remember to return for another injection around this time or risk not being protected from pregnancy.

Intrauterine device

The IUD is a highly effective (99%), long-acting and reversible method of contraception.

It is a small, T-shaped device that is made from plastic and copper and works by stopping a man's sperm from meeting an egg and/or by stopping an egg implanting in the uterus. The procedure for inserting an IUD is simple, usually only taking a few minutes by a trained person.

Tubal ligation

Tubal ligation is a permanent, irreversible contraceptive solution for women.

It is suitable for women who are sure they don't want anymore children.

The method involves a short surgical procedure, performed by a highly trained doctor that prevents a woman's eggs and the man's sperm meeting, so a pregnancy can't occur.

Vasectomy

A surgical procedure for providing a permanent contraceptive solution for men.

A vasectomy is a contraceptive method suitable for men who are sure they don't want anymore children.

It's a popular method of family planning chosen by millions of men worldwide. It's safe, effective and offers a permanent solution to contraceptive need.

Emergency contraception and other medicines

Emergency contraceptives can interfere with other medications.

Depending which brand of emergency contraception you use, there is a small risk it may affect:

  • St John’s Wort herbal medicine
  • Various epilepsy medicines
  • Various HIV medicines
  • Various tuberculosis (TB) medicines
  • Antacid medicines

In all cases, we recommend speaking with us or your healthcare practitioner before taking emergency contraception. You should also read the information leaflet that is supplied with your medicines.

Looking for more information about our services?

You’ll find answers to the questions people ask most about our services here. If you can’t find out the information you need, please call us on 0800 220 333

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