Your second chance

You forgot the pill, the condom broke, your diaphragm wasn't placed properly, you got your non-fertile days wrong – there are a plenty of reasons things might not go to plan with your preferred method of contraception. That's what emergency contraception is for.

Types of Emergency Contraception

There are actually two main types of emergency contraception – a pill and the copper coil (IUD).

The Copper Coil

A long-acting method of contraception that does not include hormones, the copper coil or intrauterine device (IUD) uses copper which is toxic to sperm and stops the fertilised egg from attaching to the womb. If inserted less than 5 days after unprotected sex, it can be effective as an emergency contraceptive. You can then keep wearing it for up to 5 to 10 years to prevent unintended pregnancy.

Emergency Contraceptive Pill

Often called 'the morning after pill' it is a pill that is designed to prevent pregnancy. It can be taken up to 3-5 days of having unprotected sex (depending on the one you choose to take), but it is important to remember that the sooner you take it, the better it will work. However, the emergency contraceptive pill must not be used as a regular method of contraception.

Speak to a healthcare professional

If you have any concerns or questions about emergency contraception, it’s a good idea to talk to a healthcare professional. If you did not intend to have unprotected sex, for example if the condom broke, it might also be a good idea to ask them for a Sexually transmitted infection (STI) test.


Speak to a healthcare professional for advice and support on your contraceptive needs.

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doctor CTA


Report possible side effects

If you want to report a side effect of medication, please contact your doctor, nurse or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects not listed in your contraception package leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the MHRA Yellow Card Scheme at or search MHRA Yellow Card in Google Play or Apple App Store.
By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of medicines.