Emergency contraception can be used to help prevent an unwanted pregnancy up to five days after sex.
Emergency contraception is available at all of our clinics, most GPs and many Pharmacies. It can be used if a contraceptive method fails, for instance a condom splits, a pill is forgotten or taken late, or if no contraception is used, Emergency contraception should not be relied on as a form of contraception as other methods used regularly are more effective.
There are two forms of emergency contraception:
The Emergency Contraceptive Pill (EC Pill)
There are 2 types of emergency hormonal pills. The doctor, nurse or specially trained pharmacist will choose the most effective type for you depending on when you had unprotected sex. These can be taken up to five days after unprotected sex but it is very important to remember the longer you wait to take an emergency contraceptive pill the less effective it is.
Emergency Intra-Uterine Device (IUD)
The IUD is sometimes called the ‘coil’. It is a small "T" shaped piece of plastic and copper that is inserted into the vagina, through the cervix and into the uterus. It can be fitted as an emergency contraceptive up to 5 days after unprotected sex. It has to be fitted by a specially trained doctor or nurse so you should check with a service to see if they fit IUDs before going.
The emergency IUD is almost 100% effective at whatever stage you fit it within the 5 days.
If you think you are too late for Emergency Contraception still see a doctor or nurse as they may still be able to help.