There are two methods of emergency contraception:

  • the emergency contraceptive pill (the morning-after pill) – two types exist
  • the copper intrauterine device (IUD)

Both of these methods are effective at preventing pregnancy if they are used soon after unprotected sex.

You don’t need to use emergency contraception for the first 21 days after giving birth.

Emergency contraceptive pill

There are two types of emergency contraceptive pill:

  • Levonelle is the most commonly used. It can be taken up to three days (72 hours) after having unprotected sex
  • ellaOne is a newer type of emergency contraceptive pill that can be taken up to five days (120 hours) after having unprotected sex.

The emergency contraceptive pill should not be used as a regular method of contraception.

Copper intrauterine device (IUD)

The copper intrauterine device (IUD) is a small plastic and copper device that can be fitted into your womb within five days of having unprotected sex.

Where can I get emergency contraception?

Act quickly. If you have had unprotected sex, seek advice straight away from your GP or local sexual health clinic.

Free emergency contraception for under 25s is available from the following pharmacies:

  • Boots, Brunel Centre (Not available at present)
  • Ashington Way Pharmacy
  • ASDA Walmart Pharmacy, District Centre
  • Lloyds Pharmacy, Park South
  • Jepson’s Pharmacy, Wroughton
  • St John’s Pharmacy, Wroughton.

The emergency contraceptive pill can also be bought from other pharmacies, however they will charge around £25.

Elephants talk emergency contraception