If you have had unprotected sex (vaginal sex without a condom), or you think your contraception might have failed, and do not want to be pregnant, it is important that you seek help immediately. If you act quickly, emergency contraception will usually prevent pregnancy.There are two methods of emergency contraception. The hormonal emergency contraception pill is often known as the ‘morning after pill’. The copper intrauterine device (IUD) is a coil which is fitted by a trained doctor or nurse.
Emergency Contraception Pill
There are two emergency contraceptive pills available. Levonelle and ellaOne. The emergency contraceptive pill is a tablet containing progestogen, a hormone which is similar to the natural progesterone women produce in their ovaries.Bothshould be taken as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse. Levonelle can be used up to 72 hours after unprotected sex and ellaOne within 5 days. They are more effective the sooner they are taken.The emergency pill is most likely to stop an egg being released (ovulation) or delay ovulation. It may also stop a fertilised egg settling in your uterus.The emergency pill is up to 95% effective if taken within 24 hours of unprotected sex occurring.
Levonelle and ellaOne are free from both our GUM and CASH clinics, NHS walk-in centres, A&E and your GP if they provide contraceptive services.You can also buy them for around £25 from pharmacies.
Copper Intrauterine Device (IUD)
Anintrauterine device (IUD) is a small plastic and copper device that is put into you uterus (womb) by a trained doctor or nurse.The IUD works by stopping an egg being fertilised or implanting in your uterus.It can be fitted up to five days after unprotected sex provided this is the onlyunprotected sex that has occurred since your last period.It is the most effective method of emergency contraception and prevents up to 99% of pregnancies expected to occur if no emergency contraception had been used.It will protect you against pregnancy as soon as it has fitted and it will provide ongoing contraception until it is taken out. An IUD can stay in for 5-10 years depending on the type.
An IUD can be fitted at our CASH clinic or by your GP if they provide contraceptive services.
Remember, prevention is better than cure. It is better to have continuous contraception in place rather than relying on emergency contraception. There are now 15 types of effective contraception available to protect against pregnancy.
If you require Emergency Contraception or the ‘morning after pill’ and the clinics are closed, please contact or attend either of the following:
- GP Walk-In Centre, Avon Approach, Salisbury. Tel: 01722 331191
- Emergency Department, Salisbury Hospital. Tel: 01722 429163
- Boots, 41-51 High St, Salisbury.Tel: 01722 333233
- Tanday Pharmacy, 37 Wilton Rd, Salisbury.Tel: 01722 328288
- Downton Pharmacy, Downton, Salisbury.Tel: 01725 510388
- Bemerton Heath Surgery, Pembroke Road, SalisburyTel: 0844 477 0964
- Barcroft Medical Centre, High Street, AmesburyTel: 01980 623983
- Whiteparish Surgery, WhiteparishTel: 01794 884269
Alternatively please contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or search for other pharmacies on: