If you have had unprotected sex, that is, sex without using contraception, or think your contraceptive method has failed, you can use emergency contraception.

There are three different types of emergency contraception:

  • Levonelle (levonrgestrel) is one pill taken within three days (72 hours) of having unprotected sex.

  • ellaOne ( ulipristal acetate) is one pill taken within 120 hours of having unprotected sex.

  • The emergency intrauterine device (copper IUD) can be fitted in your uterus up to 120 hours after unprotected sex or within five days of the earliest time you could have released an egg.

Emergency contraception can be very effective especially if you have an IUD fitted or if the emergency contraceptive pill is taken as soon after unprotected sex as possible.You don’t need to use emergency contraception for the first 21 days after giving birth. For more information regarding safer sex post pregnancy click here.