The emergency contraceptive pill, or emergency hormonal contraception (EHC) or more commonly the morning-after pill, is a tablet that a woman takes to help prevent pregnancy following unprotected sex. Unprotected sex includes when other forms of contraception have failed in some way, such as a condom coming off during sex.
The morning-after pill works by delaying the release of an egg during the ovulation phase of your menstrual cycle. Rising levels of luteinising hormone (LH) inside your body then triggers ovulation. The higher the levels of LH, the less likely the morning after pill will prevent pregnancy.
So, it’s important that the emergency contraceptive pill is taken as soon as possible following unprotected sex for it to be effective.
You can take on of two types of the emergency contraceptive pill: ellaOne and Levonorgestrel. Levonorgestrel is less effective once LH levels increase but ellaOne has been shown to still be effective later in the menstrual cycle.
Both types of morning-after pills need to be taken as soon as possible after sexual intercourse, preferably the same day.
The common side effects of taking the morning after pill include irregular bleeding, nausea, headaches and abdominal or period pain.
No. Only women can buy the morning-after pill. Before purchase, you will need to complete a questionnaire to check your suitability. Emergency contraceptives are only available for in-person collection in one of our stores.
No. The morning-after pill is a form of contraception that can help prevent getting pregnant. The morning after does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or diseases (STDs) including chlamydia, genital warts or HIV.
To help prevent catching or spreading a sexually-transmitted disease or infection, you must practice safe sex and wear a condom during intercourse.
It’s good practice to always use a condom, even if you are also taking a different form of birth control.
Come into the store where we can issue you with the EHC following a short questionnaire about your health and medical history. Your consultation will happen in our private treatment room. Contact us for more information.