Our website uses cookies so that we can provide a better browsing experience. Continue to use the site as normal, or find out how to manage cookies.

Emergency Contraception

So you forgot to use contraception? Did the condom split?

Don’t worry, if you act quickly enough you can still avoid getting pregnant. You will still need to be checked for STIs though.

Click here for a list of pharmacies in Hackney and their opening times

There are 2 types of emergency contraception:

The emergency pill, often called "the morning after pill"

  • These are tablets taken by mouth, there are two choices, Levonelle or Ella-one.
  • Levonelle is free and is available from CHYPS Plus, chemists, your GP or sexual health clinics. You can take it up to 3 days (72 hours) after you have had unprotected sex but the earlier you take it, the more likely it is to work.
  • Ella-one is a new emergency pill. You can take it up to 5 days after unprotected sex but it is only available on prescription so you will need to see a doctor or nurse or come to a CHYPS Plus clinic.
  • Most people can take the emergency pill even if they cannot take the combined pill for contraception.
  • Let the person who gives you the emergency pill know if you are taking any other medicines or supplements because they might affect the emergency pill.
  • If you vomit within 2 hours of taking the emergency pill, you need to come and see us again or return to the pharmacy as you may need to take another.

What will happen to my period?

Your period may vary after the emergency pill. It may come early, on time or late.

How will I know if it has worked?

  • If your period is more than 7 days late, or it is lighter than normal come and see us.
  • If your period comes as usual, it is unlikely that you are pregnant but you should check for STIs and come and talk to us about other methods of contraception.

Will the emergency pill protect me from pregnancy until my next period?

It will only protect you for one episode. Next time you have sex you need to use contraception.

Can I use my normal contraception?

If you are using the combined pill/ patch continue using it but remember that if you missed pills or delayed a patch, you need to use condoms for 7 days before you will be protected.

The coil

  • This can be fitted up to 5 days after you have had unprotected sex.
  • You need to go a sexual health clinic to get this fitted urgently.
  • If you have any problems getting an appointment, ring us and we will sort it out for you.
  • This is the most effective method of preventing pregnancy.
  • It will stop about 99% of pregnancies if fitted within 5 days of unprotected sex.
  • It can only be fitted at certain sexual health clinics so it not as easy to get as the pill but you can use it as your regular method of contraception.

When will I get my next period?

  • It should come on time.

Will the coil protect me from pregnancy until my next period?

  • Yes it will. You can use it until you want to take it out.
  • You need to come and see us to get it taken out. This is best to do during your period.