What about emergency contraception?
There are currently two types of emergency contraception available:
- Levonelle and generic Levonelle (levonorgestrel)
- Intrauterine device (IUD)
The table below compares the 2 types of morning after pill available:
|Contains the hormone progestogen
||Contains ulipristal acetate
|Should be taken within 72 hours (3 days) of unprotected sex
||Should be taken within 120 hours (5 days) of unprotected sex
Side effects include:
- Can affect your next period
Side effects include:
|Your next period may be a few days early or late or on time. It can cause irregular bleeding between taking Levonelle and your next period.
||Your next period may be a few days early or late or on time.
You can buy both of these types of morning after pill using our service – to order, you will need to answer a short questionnaire about your health. One of our doctors will review your request and your answers to our questionnaire. If they feel you are suitable the morning after pill will be dispatched by our pharmacy to your address.
Neither type of morning after pill is effective if you have already ovulated. The IUD is the only form of emergency contraception which is effective after ovulation.
The IUD – this is another form of emergency contraception available. It is a small, T shaped device made of plastic and copper which is inserted into your womb by a doctor or nurse. Once the IUD is inserted, it can be left in for 5 to 10 years, depending on the type. This gives long-term contraceptive cover. However, if you prefer to have it removed, this can be done by a doctor or trained professional.
Can I use the morning after pill as a long-term contraception method? – No. The morning after pill is intended for emergency use and so you should try to avoid using it regularly. If you are struggling to remember to take your usual contraceptive pill, speak to your GP about other contraception methods available.
The morning after pill and unprotected sex are riskier than using a regular form of contraception. Unprotected sex also puts you at a high risk of an STI, so you must ensure you wear a condom every time you have sex to protect you and your partner from infection.
The morning after pill is a more expensive option than other contraceptives and using it often will cost you more than taking the pill or using a condom. Using it on a regular basis can cause changes to your period and can affect your menstrual cycle.