How to get the Morning After Pill for Free

Where Can You Get Emergency Contraception for Free?

The morning after pill is a commonly used method of emergency contraception. It can prevent pregnancy when used after having unprotected sex, or sex where another method of contraception has failed such as a condom breaking or splitting.

You can buy the morning after pill over the counter at many pharmacies, from online pharmacies or doctors, or receive a free prescription from your GP, a qualified nurse or pharmacist or at a sexual health clinic.

Dr Babak Ashrafi Clinical Lead for Service Development

Medically reviewed by

Dr Babak Ashrafi

Last reviewed: 14 Nov 2022

Is the Morning After Pill Free?

There are two types of pills that can be available for free on the nhs. These are part of an NHS scheme to ensure access to emergency contraceptive pills for everyone.

One pill is called EllaOne and the other is called levonorgestrel.

EllaOne is an emergency contraceptive pill that can be taken up to five days after unprotected sex or sex where other contraception has failed.

Levonorgestrel must be used up to 72 hours, or 3 days, after unprotected sex to be effective. It’s more effective the sooner after unprotected sex it’s taken.

Who can get the morning after pill for free?

The NHS scheme is available to everyone who uses the NHS, so you will have access to free emergency contraception, even if you are under 16.

You need to speak with a pharmacist, nurse or doctor to help you to decide whether the morning after pill is right for you. People under the age of 16 will not be able to get access to the pill from an online pharmacy and should contact their GP, local sexual health clinic or young people’s clinic.

What morning after pills can I get for free?

EllaOne and levonorgestrel are available for free as part of the NHS emergency contraception scheme. Your doctor or pharmacist can help you to decide which is best for you and help you get a free prescription.

Can I get other types of emergency contraception for free?

Yes. The IUD, sometimes called a coil, is also available for free from the NHS. These are offered at NHS Sexual Health or GUM clinics, contraception clinics, and by some GPs.

IUDs must be fitted by a doctor or nurse and are highly effective as emergency contraception for up to five days after having unprotected sex or 5 days after your earliest ovulation date. They are also a highly effective method of regular contraception and can be left in place or removed before your next period.

Where Can I Get the Morning After Pill for Free?

Your GP can prescribe it to you at your local surgery, and you also may be able to get a free prescription from your local pharmacist. This is also available for free through sexual health clinics.

What will happen when I ask for the morning after pill?

The doctor, nurse or pharmacist will need to have a brief and completely confidential consultation with you before giving you a prescription. Some doctors or nurses may do this over the phone or on a video call without the need for an in-person appointment. During this consultation, the doctor, nurse or pharmacist will ask you for some information to help them decide which pill or emergency contraceptive is right for you.

What type of questions will I be asked?

Your doctor, nurse or pharmacist will ask questions about your period, such as when you last had one and how long they usually last. They will also ask you about when you last had unprotected sex and about any contraception you use, including if you’ve used emergency contraception recently.

Can I get the morning after pill at an NHS Sexual Health Clinic?

Yes. You can get the morning after pill free from an NHS Sexual Health clinic, which is sometimes called a GUM (genitourinary medicine) clinic. The NHS staff there will have a short and confidential consultation with you so they can prescribe you the right emergency contraception.

Where else can I get emergency contraception?

NHS walk-in centres, minor injuries units, and Accident and Emergency departments can also prescribe emergency contraception, but it’s best to phone them first before going to check that they offer this service. Some young people’s clinics and all contraception clinics are able to prescribe emergency contraception after a short consultation. Young people’s clinics such as Brooks Centres will only offer emergency contraception to people under the age of 25.

Where can I get the morning after pill for free near me?

You can use the NHS Emergency Contraception finder to help find places in England that offer free prescriptions for the morning after pill and IUDs. Some of these locations may have limited availability or opening hours, and some may only be available to certain age groups such as the under 25s. You should check on their website,or call before going to make sure emergency contraception will be available to you there.

Can I Get the Morning After Pill for Free Online?

Yes. You can get emergency contraception such as the morning after pill online through the NHS scheme, but there are some areas of the country where it may not be available.

You can also get the morning after pill online from services such as:

  • Online pharmacies like Superdrug
  • Your GP, after an online consultation, if your GP provides this service
  • Local online services such as SH:24 in London

Can I Get the Morning After Pill for Free Over the Counter?

Yes. Most pharmacies will provide the morning after pill for free over the counter after a short consultation with a qualified pharmacist. They will ask you some questions to help them to decide which emergency contraceptive is the right one for you.

You can also get the morning after pill for free by contacting your local GP.

How Else Can I Get the Morning After Pill?

The morning after pill is available from online pharmacies like Superdrug, but you will have to pay for your prescription. You can get the morning after pill delivered straight to your door in the post, or pick it up on the same day from your local Superdrug pharmacy.Just as with getting the morning after pill in person, you will have to complete a short questionnaire for a doctor to review online before they can prescribe.

Sources

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