Emergency contraception is also known as emergency hormonal contraception (EHC) or more commonly as the morning-after pill.
The morning-after pill is a tablet that can be taken by a woman 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.
How does emergency contraception work?
The morning-after pill works by delaying the release of an egg during the ovulation phase of your menstrual cycle. The earlier in the cycle, the more effective emergency contraception is.
So, it’s important that you take the emergency contraceptive pill as soon as possible following sex without protection for it to be effective.
What are the side effects of taking an emergency contraceptive pill?
The common side effects of taking EHC include irregular bleeding, nausea, headaches and abdominal or period pain.
Can men buy the morning after pill?
No. Only women can buy emergency hormonal contraception. Before purchase, you will need to complete a questionnaire to check your suitability.
Can the morning-after pill protect me from STIs?
No. The morning-after pill is a form of contraception that helps prevent pregnancy. 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. In fact, it’s good practice to use a condom, even if you are also taking a different form of birth control.