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Emergency Contraception

Have you had unprotected sex?

Unprotected sex is sex without using contraception, or when you think your contraception may have failed, for example the condom may have split or come off during sex.

Don’t Panic!

If you act quickly, using emergency contraception after unprotected sex will usually prevent a pregnancy if taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex. Emergency contraception is available from

How do I take it and does it work?

The Emergency Contraceptive Pill, morning after pill is a pill containing progestogen which if taken in the first 72hrs (3 days) after one episode of unprotected sex will help to

  • Stop or delay ovulation
  • stop a fertilized egg implanting into your womb

NB This is not an abortion pill, it works to prevent pregnancy

It is very effective and will prevent a pregnancy in

  • up to 95% if taken in the first 24hrs after unprotected sex
  • up to 85% if taken between 25-48hrs after unprotected sex
  • up to 58% if taken between 49-72hrs after unprotected sex

So if needed take it as soon as possible don’t delay, best taken within 24 hours.

You may also be able to have an emergency coil or IUCD fitted by a specially trained doctor or nurse at the contraception & sexual health clinic up to 120hrs (5 days) after unprotected sex. This is more effective than the emergency pill and can be used as your long-term method of contraception

Emergency contraception is not as effective as other methods of Contraception and will not protect you against Sexually Transmitted Infections.

For more information on this and any other method contact your local contraception & sexual health clinic or GP

You can get tested at any contraception & sexual health clinic

or at your GP practice in:

SE3 Blackheath SE4 Brockley, Crofton Park, Honor Oak
SE6 Bellingham, Catford SE8 Deptford, St John's
SE12 Grove Park, Lee SE13 Hither Green, Ladywell, Lewisham
SE14 New Cross, New Cross Gate SE23 Forest Hill
SE26 Sydenham Full list of clinics and location maps »