Emergency Contraception

If you’ve had unprotected sex or think your contraception might have failed, you can use emergency contraception. The most effective method of emergency contraception is to have an IUD fitted. This can then be left fitted if you still need long term contraceptive cover. Emergency contraception pills can be very effective, but are not as effective as the IUD, or using other methods of contraception regularly and correctly.

There are different types of emergency contraception:

  • emergency intrauterine device (IUD or emergency coil) – this is the most effective
  • emergency contraceptive pill – the sooner after sex you use this the more effective it will be. There are two types in the UK:
    • Ulipristal acetate (UPA) – ellaOne is currently the only brand available in the UK
    • Levonorgestrel – different brands are available

Emergency contraception does not cause an abortion or protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). 

For further information visit Sexwise/Emergency-Contraception

Click here to download the patient leaflet