Morning After Pill explained

Morning After Pill - Time Taken Crucial

The Morning After Pill
 

Doctors, nurses and chemists are not allowed to give out information about you without your consent unless they think you or another person is at risk. In these cases, they would try to discuss it with you first.

What is it?
Where can I get it?
How does it work?
How likely is it to work?
What else should I know?
Contraception for the future


What is it?

If you have had sex without using contraception (unprotected sex), the condom broke or you forgot to take a pill, you can protect yourself from pregnancy by taking the morning after pill up to three days (or 72 hours) after you had sex, or by having an IUD fitted up to five days afterwards.  If it's over five days since you had unprotected sex, go to the Integrated Sexual Health Service to talk about your options.

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Where can I get it?

You can get a free morning after pill from:

  • An ASC chemist if you are 25 or under
  • The Integrated Sexual Health Services for all ages


You can also buy them from most chemists if you are aged 16 or over, it will cost around £26.

Don't be nervous about asking for it. Chemists get asked for it all the time, and it is better than dealing with an unplanned pregnancy.

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 How does it work?

It contains hormones to stop ovaries releasing eggs.  They also make the womb slippery so fertilised eggs can't stick to it and develop into a baby.

 

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How likely is it to work?

If taken within 24 hours of unprotected sex it will prevent  95% of pregnancies that could have happened if the morning after pill hadn't been taken. Eighty-five per cent of pregnancies are prevented if the pill is taken between 25 and 48 hours after unprotected sex, and up to 58% of pregnancies if taken 49-72 hours after unprotected sex. The sooner it's taken, the more likely it is to work. The IUD will prevent 99% of pregnancies.

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What else should I know?

When you use the morning after pill it can make you feel sick, dizzy or tired, or give you a headache, tender breasts or abdominal pain. It can make your next period earlier or later than usual. There are no serious side effects.

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Contraception for the future

The morning after pill is not regular contraception, go to your GP or the Integrated Sexual Health Service to talk about contraception that meets your needs.

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