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Emergency contraception

Emergency contraception can be used to help prevent an unwanted pregnancy up to five days after sex.

It can be used if a contraceptive method fails, for instance a condom splits or a pill is forgotten or taken late, or if no contraception is used. People often talk about the 'morning after pill' but that's not really accurate. Emergency contraception can be used up to 5 days after sex, but it's more effective the sooner you take it

There are three forms of emergency contraception:

  • The emergency contraceptive pill Levonelle
  • The emergency contraceptive pill ellaOne
  • The emergency intrauterine device (IUD)

Find out more about all these forms of emergency contraception here.

The emergency contraceptive pills Levonelle and ellaOne as well as the emergency IUD do not prevent you from getting sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If you have had unprotected sex, you should think about having an STI test. Find out more about STIs and how to get tested here.