Our pharmacists will have a private conversation with you to help you understand your options:
You can buy Levonelle if you're 16 or over.
Levonelle can be taken within 72 hours (three days) of having unprotected sex, but it's most effective if taken within 12 hours of having unprotected sex.
You take one Levonelle tablet. It works by stopping or delaying ovulation (when your ovaries release an egg).
You can get EllaOne with a prescription from your GP, and you can buy it in our pharmacy if you're aged 18 or over. It is free of charge if it's on prescription.
EllaOne is only recommended in women aged 18 or over because its safety and effectiveness have only been confirmed in women in that age group.
EllaOne can be taken within 120 hours (five days) of having unprotected sex, but it's most effective if taken as soon as possible after having unprotected sex.
You take one EllaOne tablet. It stops or delays ovulation and makes it more difficult for a fertilised egg to implant into your womb.
Emergency contraception is effective at preventing pregnancy if it's used soon after unprotected sex. Less than 1% of women who use the IUD get pregnant, whereas pregnancies after the emergency contraceptive pill are not as rare.
The sooner you take Levonelle or EllaOne, the more effective it'll be.
Levonelle or EllaOne can make you feel sick, dizzy or tired, or give you a headache, tender breasts or abdominal pain.
Levonelle or EllaOne can make your period earlier or later than usual.
If you’re sick (vomit) within 2 hours of taking Levonelle, or 3 hours of taking EllaOne, get medical advice as you'll need to take another dose or have an IUD fitted.
If you use the IUD as emergency contraception, it can be left in as your regular contraceptive method.
If you use the IUD as a regular method of contraception, it can make your periods longer, heavier or more painful.
You may feel some discomfort when the IUD is put in – painkillers can help to relieve this.
There are no serious side effects of using emergency contraception.
Emergency contraception does not cause an abortion.
Please contact your nurse or doctor if:
you've used emergency contraception and:
you're concerned about any symptoms
you think you might be pregnant
your next period is more than 7 days late
your period is shorter or lighter than usually
you have any sudden or unusual pain in your lower abdomen
Sudden or unusual pain in your lower abdomen (stomach) could be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy. This is rare but serious, and needs immediate medical attention.