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Emergency Contraception

Who do I see?

Community Pharmacy or Sexual Health Clinic


If you’ve had unprotected sex, that is, sex without using contraception, or think your contraception might have failed, you can use emergency contraception.

Most community pharmacies are able to offer an emergency contraception pill. This is sometimes called the ‘morning after pill.’ Despite this name, it can be taken up to 5 days after unprotected sex but the sooner it is taken the more likely it is to work.

Emergency contraception can be very effective, but it’s not as effective as using other methods of contraception regularly.

The emergency IUD (copper coil) is the most effective emergency contraception but in an emergency situation like this would need to be fitted by a sexual health clinic as soon as possible. Please follow the Grampian Sexual Health link below if you are interested in this option.

An emergency contraceptive pill needs to be taken as soon as possible after sex to have the best chance of working.

Further advice about emergency contraception is available at the Grampian Sexual Health website or Sexwise.