Emergency contraception can be used to try to prevent a pregnancy if there has been unprotected sex or contraception has failed, for example, missing pills or broken condoms.
There are two methods of emergency contraception:
- the emergency contraceptive pill (also known as the morning after pill)
- the copper intrauterine device (non-hormonal coil)
Both methods are effective at preventing pregnancy if they are used soon after unprotected sex.
You do not need to use emergency contraception for the first 21 days after giving birth.
Emergency contraceptive pill (morning after pill)
There are two different emergency pills:
- Levonelle is the most commonly used, and it can be taken up to 72 hours after having unprotected sex
- ellaOne can be taken up to 120 hours after having unprotected sex
The emergency contraceptive pill should not be used as a regular method of contraception
Copper Intrauterine Device (non-hormonal coil)
This is the most effective method of emergency contraception. It is a small plastic and copper device that is fitted into your womb within 5 days of having unprotected sex.
Where can I get emergency contraception?
If you have had unprotected sex, seek advice straight away.
You can access emergency contraception from your GP, local pharmacy, Brook centres, most NHS walk-in centres and some A+E departments.
In many circumstances, emergency contraception is free on the NHS.
Below is a list of some local pharmacies that provide access to the emergency contraceptive pill.
- Swindon Pharmacy, Hawthorne Medical Centre, May Close, SN2 1UU
- Homeground Pharmacy, Thames Avenue, Swindon, SN25 1QQ
- Rowlands Pharmacy, Ely Close, Dunwich Drive, Toothill, Swindon, SN5 8SX
- Swindon Health Centre Pharmacy, NHS Health Centre, 1 Islington Street, Swindon, SN1 2DQ
- Highworth Pharmacy, Market Place, Highworth, Swindon, SN6 7AA
- Ashington Way Pharmacy, Ashington Way, Westlea, Swindon, SN5 7XT
If you would like to discuss your options over the phone, please call us on 01793 60 40 38.