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My Sexual Health

Emergency Contraception


If you have had unprotected sex in the last 5 days or you think that your contraceptive may have failed, you may be able to have emergency contraception to prevent an unplanned pregnancy.

There are two main types of emergency contraception available:

  • the emergency contraceptive pill which can be taken up to 120 hours (5 days) after sex
  • the intrauterine device [IUD] – sometimes called the coil – which can be fitted up to 5 days after sex or later in some circumstances

You can access emergency contraception from either: 

  • My-Sexual-Health – check our locations/opening times here
  • your GP – most GPs offer contraception, ask your local surgery for details.
    If you do not have a GP you can find details of surgeries near you on NHS Choices website
  • NHS 111 – to find local services 24 hours a day, dial 111 or visit the NHS-111 website
  • Primary Care 24 – this GP out-of-hours service can be accessed during evenings/weekends by appointment only. 
    If you need to attend, please ring for an appointment by dialling 111
  • Pharmacies in some areas also offer emergency contraceptive pills,
    search on NHS Choices website to find one near you