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Emergency contraception

Using contraception every time you have sex is the best way to reduce the risk of pregnancy. But sometimes things can happen, for example a condom breaks, you forget to take your pill, or you have sex without using contraception and regret it later.

If this occurs, acting quickly to sort out emergency contraception may protect you against the possibility of pregnancy – however, there is no 100% effective method of emergency contraception.

Morning after pill 

This must be taken within 3 or 5 days of unprotected sex (depending on the brand) for it to be effective – the sooner you take it, the more effective it’ll be.

Available from our sexual health clinics, GP surgeries, walk-in centres, pharmacies (some will charge) and A&E.

Intrauterine device (IUD)

This can be fitted up to 5 days after unprotected sex, or up to 5 days after the earliest time you could have ovulated, for it to be effective.

Available from our sexual health clinics and GP surgeries.

Download our patient leaflet for more information.

If you have had unprotected sex, there is also a risk you could have a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and so please contact one of our clinics as soon as possible.

If you’re female and under 25, emergency contraception is available for FREE without a prescription in selected pharmacies and Spectrum sexual health clinics.