Emergency contraception can prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or if your contraceptive method has failed – for example, a condom has split or you've missed a pill. There are two types: 

  • the emergency contraceptive pill (sometimes called the morning after pill)
  • the IUD (intrauterine device, or coil

There are two kinds of emergency contraceptive pill. Levonelle has to be taken within 72 hours (three days) of sex, and ellaOne has to be taken within 120 hours (five days) of sex. Both pills work by preventing or delaying ovulation (release of an egg).

 

The IUD can be inserted into your uterus up to five days after unprotected sex, or up to five days after the earliest time you could have ovulated. It may stop an egg from being fertilised or implanting in your womb.

 

Emergency contraception does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

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