Emergency Contraception Pills

method emergency

Emergency Contraception Pills

Morning After Pill, Plan B

>85% if taken within 3 days of unprotected sex

STI protection

Every time

Easy to access, no script required, very short-acting, delays ovulation, progestogen only option available.

Doesn’t work if taken after ovulation, time sensitive, may disrupt menstrual cycle, can affect or be affected by taking hormonal contraception at the same time.

How do Emergency Contraception Pills work?

There are 2 different types of oral emergency contraception; they’re both usually referred to as “the morning after pill.” The reason they’re called this is that their effectiveness drops depending on how long after unprotected sex you use it, so ideally you want to take them no later than the morning after unprotected sex.

To be as effective as possible oral emergency contraception must be used as soon after the sexual act as possible. However you can use this method up to 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected sex, as long as you’re not breastfeeding. If you’re breastfeeding, you can still use this method but the only Emergency Contraceptive Pill you’ll be able to take and continue breastfeeding (not requiring you to express and discard milk) is only effective for up to 3 days (72 hours) after the sexual act.

Both types of morning after pill work by preventing or delaying your body from releasing an egg, which means any viable sperm will be out of your body by the time an egg is released. However, if you’ve already released an egg, Emergency Contraception Pills may not prevent a pregnancy.

Australia currently has highly limited availability of the 120 Emergency Contraception option, so it may be difficult to obtain.

Oral emergency contraception is often confused with the medical abortion drug. They are not the same; taking emergency contraception is not a form of abortion.

Tip: There is also a third, non-hormonal option for emergency contraception – having a Copper IUD inserted within 5 days of having unprotected sex.


How do I use Emergency Contraception?

Step 1. After have unprotected sex, as soon as possible, make your way to a pharmacy and ask for emergency contraception.

Step 2. The pharmacist will provide you with the medication. Take it orally with water.

Step 3. Alternatively, make an appointment to have a Copper IUD inserted


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