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Emergency Contraception

Emergency contraception

If you have had unprotected sex, that is, sex without using contraception, or think your contraception might have failed, you can use emergency contraception.

There are different types of emergency contraception:

  • the emergency contraceptive pill, Levonelle
  • the emergency contraceptive pill, ellaOne
  • the emergency intrauterine device (IUD).

Emergency contraception can be very effective especially if you have an IUD fitted or if the emergency contraceptive pill is taken soon after sex and within 72hrs.

Where can I get emergency contraception?

You can get emergency contraception free from these places but they may not all supply ellaOne or fit the IUD.

  • any general practice that provides contraceptive services
  • a contraception clinic
  • any young person's service or Brook clinic
  • any sexual health clinic
  • some genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics.

Search online for your nearest emergency contraception clinic.

You can also get Levonelle free from:

  • most NHS walk-in centres (in England only)
  • some pharmacies (there may be age restrictions)
  • most NHS minor injuries units
  • some hospital accident and emergency departments (phone first to check).

You can buy Levonelle from:

  • most pharmacies if you are 16 years old or over
  • some fee-paying clinics.

Ask your doctor or nurse about getting emergency pills in advance, just in case you need them.