Emergency Contraception – NHS Sexual Health & Blood Borne Viruses | Tayside

What is Emergency Contraception?

 

If you have sex without using contraception or think your contraception might have failed you can use emergency contraception.  There are 3 options for emergency contraception:

 

An IUD (also known as a coil) is a small plastic and copper device that is fitted in your uterus up to five days (120 hours) after unprotected sex or up to five days from the earliest date you could have ovulated.   It is the most effective method of emergency contraception. It can be fitted by your GP or sexual health clinic It takes 15 – 20 minutes to fit and fitting can be uncomfortable.

Once fitted you can keep the IUD in for 5-10 years, as a reversible form of contraception (depending on type.)

ellaOne is a pill which contains ulipristal acetate.  It is more effective than Upostelle and Levonelle and can be taken within five days (120 hours) of having unprotected sex and is available from your GP, sexual health clinic, pharmacy and most minor injury units.

Levonelle/Upostelle are pills which contain the hormone levonorgestrel.  It can be taken within three days (72 hours) of having unprotected sex and is available from your GP, sexual health clinic, pharmacy and most minor injury units.

 

Emergency contraception is not as reliable as using other methods of regularly taken contraception.  There are many different types of contraception you can choose from.  Use our contraception tool to find the best fit for you.

More information on emergency contraception can be found by visiting the FPA website.