Emergency Hormonal Contraception

EHC - "The Morning After Pill" - can be provided FREE of charge to all women of child-bearing age up to 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex. The EHC we provide is levonorgestrel.

Emergency Hormonal Contraception

We have put together some FAQs to help you understand this service.

We recommend you complete our online EHC questionnaire. This will give you a unique code you can use when visting or calling the pharmacy, maintaining your privacy. We will email you advice and options tailored to the answers you've given.

Who is eligible for the free Emergency Hormonal Contraceptive tablet?

The service is provided to all women of child-bearing age.

How long after unprotected sex can I take the tablet?

The tablet we provide, levonorgestrel (levonelle), is effective if taken up to 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex, but is more effective the sooner it is taken.

What options do I have if more than 72 hours (3 days) have passed since unprotected sex?

If you have had unprotected sex more than 72 hours (3 days ago), we are unable to provide you with the free levonorgestrel pill. This tablet is only effective up to 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex.

An alternative to levonorgestrel is Ulipristal (EllaOne). This can be taken up to 120 hours (5 days) after unprotected sex. This is available:

  • To purchase from the pharmacy for £25
  • On prescription (free of charge) from your GP.
  • From sexual health services. Clinic details can be found on the letstalkaboutit website.

In addition to oral emergency contraception, you can be fitted with an Interuterine Device (IUD), commonly known as the "coil". This is the most effective form of emergency contraception in all cases. The IUD can be fitted up to 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected sex or within 5 days of your expected ovulation date where this can be accurately calculated. The coil is available from sexual health services. Their phone number is 0300 300 2016.

If more than 120 hours (5 days) have passed since unprotected sex, oral emergency contraception is no longer an available option. You must contact sexual health service on the number above as soon as possible to discuss your options.

I have missed one or more of my contraceptive pills. Do I need EHC?

Emergency contraception is not always necessary in the event of missing a contraceptive pill, patch or ring. The contraceptive type, the number of pills missed and where you are in your cycle will determine whether you need emergency contraception. Before coming to the pharmacy, we suggest you:

I have had vomiting and/or diarrhoea. Do I need EHC?

Emergency contraception is not always necessary in the event of vomiting and/or diarrhoea. The timing of the vomiting/diarrhoea, duration and severity of the vomiting/diarrhoea will determine whether you need emergency contraception. Before coming to the pharmacy, we suggest you:

I've taken my dose of levonorgestrel but have been sick. What do I do?

If you vomited your first dose of levonorgestel within 3 hours of taking it, you will need to come to the pharmacy to collect a second dose.

Please call us on ‭(023) 9266 2511‬, call your GP or call Sexual Health Services on 0300 300 2016 if you are at all unsure whether you need Emergency Contraception.×
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