Emergency contraception, also known as the morning after pill, is used when other methods of protection, such as condoms, have failed.
If you find yourself in this situation, we have a range of emergency contraceptive pills that can help to reduce your risk of unwanted pregnancy.
For more information on birth control, please see Your Birth Control Choices for guidance.
We offer morning after pills from brands such as Levonelle and ellaOne. ellaOne has shown to be the more effective morning after pill, although some women may find that Levonelle is the best choice for them.
We take pride in making sure that emergency contraception is available and affordable, which is why we stock Levonorgestrel, an emergency contraceptive and the generic version of Levonelle.
Take the pill as soon as possible after sex if other forms of contraception have failed.
The pill may be effective for up to 120 hours (ellaOne) after unprotected sex. Others may be effective for up to 72 hours (Levorgenestrel).
Emergency contraception can be used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or if your alternative form of contraception has failed, such as missing your pill or a split condom.
There are two forms of emergency contraception; these are the emergency contraceptive pill (or the morning after pill) and the IUD (intrauterine device, or coil).
There two kinds of morning after pill; Levonelle, which is taken within 72 hours (3 days) of unprotected sex, and ellaOne, which taken within 120 days hours (5 days) of unprotected sex.
Both pills work by preventing or delaying ovulation, stopping you from falling pregnant by keeping the sperm and egg apart.
The morning after pill is more effective the sooner you use it after sex, so although you have 3 - 5 days to take the pill, it would be better for you to take it as soon as possible if you need it.
There are two types of morning after pill, one named Levonelle and one named ellaOne, and they both work slightly differently.
Levonelle contains the active ingredient levonorgestrel, and it is thought to work by preventing your ovaries from releasing an egg.
If your ovaries have already released an egg, then Levonelle is thought to prevent any sperm from fertilising it, keeping you from falling pregnant.
ellaOne uses the active ingredient ulipristal acetate, and it works by changing how the hormone progesterone works in your body.
Progesterone is what your body needs to ovulate, so ellaOne helps to delay ovulation, keeping you from getting pregnant in the process.
A study presented in 2010 demonstrates that out of 1000 women who had unprotected sex within the last 24 hours, 23 out of the 1000 women would get pregnant if they all took Levonelle/levonorgestrel, and 9 out of the 1000 women would get pregnant if they took ellaOne (Glasier A et al. Lancet 2010; 375(9714): 555-62).
This means that ellaOne is the more effective morning after pill, as long as you take it as recommended by its manufacturers.
With all emergency contraception pills, it is important that it is taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex.
Using emergency contraception has not been shown to cause any serious or long-term health problems.
However, they can sometimes have side effects such as:
If you notice any side effects after taking the morning after pill, including ones that are not listed above, then you should speak to your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible.
For more information about reporting the side effects of medication, please see the MHRA's Yellow Card Scheme.
NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) advise that doctors, nurses and pharmacists should:
"Ensure arrangements are in place to provide a course of oral emergency contraception in advance, in specific circumstances where the regular contraceptive method being used, for example, condoms or the pill, is subject to 'user failure'."
This means that your local pharmacy or sexual health clinic should always have the morning after pill in stock, just in case you need to use emergency contraception right away.
If you don't have any emergency contraception on hand and you need some right away, you can use the NHS Service Finder to locate a pharmacy or clinic near you. Although online pharmacies stock the morning after pill, online orders will not be fast enough.
As an online pharmacy, we keep the morning after pill available so you can stock up in advance, this means that you can keep a pill at home and take it as soon as you need to.
First, don't panic! There are plenty of resources out there that can help you to work out what you want to do next.
This includes your doctor, pharmacist, and local sexual health clinic, who can all offer free advice and support as you make any decisions.
For any questions you may have, bpas (British Pregnancy Advisory Service) offers further advice and support whenever you may need it.
You can get the morning after pill over the counter from pharmacies, including online pharmacies like us!
As an online pharmacy, we’re happy to sell emergency contraception to those who may need it in advance, so you can be prepared for any little accidents that might happen in the heat of the moment.
Just answer a few simple questions from our pharmacy team, and you’ll be able to place your order and have your emergency contraception delivered to your door in discreet packaging.