Emergency contraception is used for preventing pregnancy when there has been unprotected sex (e.g. no contraception or expired contraception) or a contraceptive failure (e.g. a split condom or missed pills). Worried you have missed a pill? 

We offer the two main types of emergency contraception and your individual situation will need to be assessed when you visit us. This is an ideal time to discuss ongoing methods of contraception if you are not using anything, or to switch to a more reliable method if your current method has let you down.

Emergency contraception pill ('morning after pill')

Emergency hormonal contraception is sometimes known as the “morning after pill” but it can actually be given up to 5 days after unprotected sex. There are two types, Levonorgestrel and Ulipristal. We can help you decide which might be most appropriate.

The morning after pill is not 100% effective at preventing pregnancy after unprotected sex – if your next period is more than 7 days late or if your period is much lighter than usual it is important that you do a pregnancy test.

It works by delaying the release of an egg. This means that it only protects you for the sex you have already had. It does not prevent pregnancy if you have unprotected sex in the later half of your cycle. You need to make sure you start using effective routine contraception immediately.

Copper IUD (intra-uterine device)

The copper IUD is the most effective method of emergency contraception. The copper released by the device prevents sperm from fertilising an egg and also will prevent implantation of a fertilised egg into the womb lining.

The copper IUD can be fitted up to 5 days after unprotected sex or within 5 days of the earliest time you could have released an egg (in a 28-day cycle, this is usually Day 19). So get in touch with us as soon as possible.

It can only be inserted by trained individuals so you need to contact a service that provides this, such as SHiP or your GP.

More information on both Emergency contraception methods.

Free emergency contraception is available to women aged 13-24 years from enhanced service pharmacies across the city. Your GP may also be able to provide emergency contraception.