Emergency contraception

Providing pregnancy prevention after unprotected sex

Emergency contraception types

There are two kinds of emergency contraception available to reduce the risk of an unplanned pregnancy - the IUD and the emergency contraceptive pill.

Intrauterine device (IUD)

An IUD is the most effective form of emergency contraceptive. If inserted within 5 days of unprotected sex, it can prevent up to 99.9% of unplanned pregnancy. It's also an effective, long-acting reversible contraceptive and can be left in for 5 or 10 years depending on which type is used.

Emergency contraceptive pill

The emergency contraceptive pill, also known as the 'morning after pill', can be used to reduce the risk of an unplanned pregnancy and can be taken up to 5 days after unprotected sex. 

Frequently asked questions about emergency contraception

What are the advantages of emergency contraception?

Emergency contraception offers the following advantages as a short-term method of contraception:

  • It is safe for almost all women
  • Using emergency contraception does not affect long term fertility
  • It does not cause an abortion
  • You can use emergency contraception at any time in your menstrual cycle
  • Emergency contraception is not harmful to your health.

What are the disadvantages of emergency contraception?

Emergency contraception offers the following advantages as a short-term method of contraception:

  • It is safe for almost all women
  • Using emergency contraception does not affect long term fertility
  • It does not cause an abortion
  • You can use emergency contraception at any time in your menstrual cycle
  • Emergency contraception is not harmful to your health.

Are there any medicines that can interfere with emergency contraception?

Emergency contraceptives can interfere with other medications. Depending which brand of emergency contraception you use, there is a small risk it may affect the following medication:

  • St John’s Wort herbal medicine
  • Various epilepsy medicines
  • Various HIV medicines
  • Various tuberculosis (TB) medicines
  • Antacid medicines

A short-term pregnancy prevention method

If you've had unprotected sex or think your contraception hasn't worked properly you could be pregnant.

If you've had unprotected sex in the last 5 days and don't want to be pregnant, you can use emergency contraception.

Important emergency contraception fact: You should take emergency contraception as soon as possible after unprotected sex to prevent getting pregnant, as it only works up to 5 days after unprotected sex. If you've had unprotected sex more than 5 days ago, and/or you are late for your period, you will need to take a pregnancy test.

Effectiveness

Intrauterine device (IUD): Over 99% when taken within 5 days of unprotected sex.

Emergency contraceptive pill: Up to 85% when taken within 5 days of unprotected sex.

 

 

Why not get an STI test while visiting a clinic?

Something you should consider along with our condom service is an STI test to ensure your body is safe before you try this contraception method.

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Find a suitable method for you

If you are starting to use contraception for the first time, or looking to change methods, it is a good idea to have a consultation.

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