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Emergency contraception

Emergency contraception is contraception that is administered after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy.

Take note! Emergency contraception does not protect you against STIs. If you have had unprotected sex, you should get tested by your doctor, nurse or sexual health clinic to make sure you haven’t contracted an STI.

Can I use emergency contraception?

Emergency contraception can be used to prevent pregnancy if:

  • You haven't used protection
  • Your normal contraception fails e.g. condom splits
  • You have missed more than one contraceptive pill
  • You have been vomiting or had diarrhoea while on the pill
  • You have missed your injection
  • You have been forced to have sex without contraception


Options for emergency contraception


There are two options for emergency contraception:

Option 1: Can be taken up to three days after unprotected sex. You can find out more about the Emergency Contraceptive Pill below. Did you know that the ECP can be purchased at any chemist? However, if you call Family Planning on 0800372546 and are under 22, they can send a script to your local pharmacy, and you will not have to pay for it. 

It is not a good idea to use the ECP as your regular method of contraception. It is less effective than if you were using a LARC or hormonal method.

Find out which methods of contraception to use regularly here:

Methods of contraception

Option 2: Can be inserted up to five days after unprotected sex: