Emergency contraception

What is it?

You would use emergency contraception if you believe that your usual form of contraception has not worked properly, or if you did not have protected sex. There are two types available, which are the emergency contraceptive pill, and the IUD (Intrauterine Device).

How does it work?

You will need to take the pill within a time limit of 72 hours after having sexual intercourse. It works by stopping the process of ovulation. The IUD can be used a minimum of five days after having sex, and can prevent the egg from becoming fertilised by sperm.

How dependable is it?

The emergency pill can be 95% effective if taken within 24 hours of having sex, but this percentage falls to 58% after 49 hours. The IUD is 99% effective. However, it is advised that you use contraception during sex if you do not want to become pregnant. This form of contraception will not offer protection against STIs.

Other important information

Possible side-effects include feeling nauseous and dizzy, and they may affect the timing of your next period.

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