Getting hold of emergency contraception

Emergency contraception

If you’ve had sex without contraception, or think your method might’ve failed, you can use emergency contraception. You can use emergency contraception up to 5 days after unprotected sex but try and get it as soon as possible. 

Emergency contraception can be used after unprotected sex (especially not using a condom) and may be able to limit the effect of any STIs on long-term health and also reduce the chance of a pregnancy occurring following the encounter.



How does it work?

Types of emergency contraception

There are two types of emergency contraception:

  • The emergency contraceptive pill (the morning after pill)
  • Intrauterine device (IUD) or coil
Where you can get emergency contraception

You can obtain an emergency contraceptive pill at many pharmacies and is free if you are under 21.

An intrauterine device (IUD) or 'coil' must be fitted by a specially trained doctor or nurse. You can get the IUD and the emergency contraceptive pill from sexual health clinics and your GP.

Here are links to sexual health services near you: 


When Sarah thinks she might be pregnant, she turns to Sally for support.

Video credit: Sexwise