The Emergency contraceptive pill

The emergency contraceptive Pill is often also referred to as "the morning after Pill".

How does it work?

The ‘morning after pill’ contains the progestogen hormone, levonorgestrel. It’s an emergency pill, which should be taken as soon as possible (ideally within 24 hours) after having unprotected sex or if you think your chosen method of contraception has failed, e.g. torn condom.

Take it within 72 hours after unprotected sex. The sooner you take it, the more effective it will be.

How reliable is it?

Reasonable reliability when used properly.  This emergency method of contraception is only intended as a back-up method. Don't use this as your regular method of contraception!

What are the benefits?

It can be used if you’ve had unprotected sex or if another method of contraception has failed, like a torn condom.  It is available without prescription from the pharmacy. The emergency contraceptive can be used more than once per cycle, but may lead to disturbances in the cycle. It’s best to use a condom until the next period if you have sex again. Consider using a reliable long-term method of contraception such as a combined oral contraceptive, IUD, IUS or a patch.

What are the risks?

The morning after pill does not protect you against STIs.

After using emergency contraception, your next period may be delayed beyond 7 days.