Emergency contraception can prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or if your contraceptive method has failed. Find out about the two types of Emergency Contraception: the emergency pill (morning after pill) and the IUD
You can take emergency contraception in order to prevent pregnancy after you've had unprotected sex, or when you think your usual method of contraception might not have worked. There are two types:
- The emergency contraceptive pill (sometimes called the morning-after pill)
- The IUD (intrauterine device)
Emergency Contraception Pill
Where can I get the Emergency Contraception Pill?
You may be able to get the emergency contraceptive pill and the IUD for free from your local Knights Pharmacy. Visit our Stores Locator to find the location of your nearest Pharmacy.
How does the Emergency Contraception Pill Work?
The emergency contraceptive pill has to be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex. It's more effective the sooner it's taken. It contains progestogen, and it works by delaying or preventing ovulation.
How effective is the Emergency Contraception Pill?
If taken within 24 hours of unprotected sex, the emergency contraceptive pill will prevent 95% of pregnancies that could be expected if no emergency contraception were used.
Eighty-five per cent of pregnancies are prevented if the pill is taken between 25 and 48 hours after unprotected sex, and up to 58% of pregnancies if taken 49-72 hours after unprotected sex. The sooner it's taken, the more effective it will be.
What else do I need to know about the Emergency Contraception Pill?
- When you use the emergency contraceptive pill it can make you feel sick, dizzy or tired, or give you a headache, tender breasts or abdominal pain.
- It can make your next period earlier or later than usual.
- There are no serious side effects.
- If in doubt, always consult your Doctor
IUD (Intrauterine Device)
How does the IUD work?
The IUD can be inserted into your uterus up to five days after unprotected sex, or up to five days after the earliest time that you could have ovulated. It may prevent an egg from implanting in your womb or being fertilised.
How effective is the IUD?
The IUD will prevent over 99% of pregnancies. If you use the IUD as emergency contraception, you can also use it as an ongoing contraceptive method.
What else do I need to know about the IUD?
- You may feel some discomfort when the IUD is put in – painkillers can help to relieve this.
- If you use the IUD as an ongoing method of contraception, it might make your periods longer, heavier or more painful.