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Emergency contraception: The Morning after pill

Updated on June 6, 2011

A quick guide to using the morning after pill as an emergency contraceptive

You are worried… very worried. You forgot to take your pill yesterday and when things got overheated with your man you just lost your head and never thought once about taking any extra precautions.  Maybe, you are not on the pill at all and you rely on condoms as a contraceptive method, unfortunate this morning you were a bit over enthusiastic and your condom ripped spilling all its contents where it shouldn’t have done. Maybe this, maybe that; it doesn’t really matter. What matters now is what to do to solve an otherwise delicate situation.

Thankfully for us girls, some time back someone thought about this and developed a little pill to save us from these “little accidents”. If you are not familiar with the morning after pill, let me tell you that it is a little pill used as a form of emergency contraception.

This magic pill may prevent an unwanted pregnancy. However, it is important to remember that it does not protect you against STDs.

When to use the Morning after pill?

The Morning after pill is a form of emergency contraception only intended for occasional use, when other means of contraception fail. For example, when you have forgotten to re-start your pill at the beginning of the next pack, or you simply forgot to take your pill, or you were using a condom and it ripped or slipped off. The morning after pill can also be used if you've been taking some other drugs or you had an upset tummy that may have reduced the effectiveness of the Pill and you're worried about getting pregnant.

Following your doctor’s advise you might be able to use the morning after pill anytime directly after intercourse and up to 72 hours after. Depending on the circumstances and the pill used, some doctors advice its use even 5 days after contraceptive failure.

How to get the Morning after pill?

You can get advice on emergency contraception and the morning after pill from several sources. Some of the most common places are:

  • Your GP.

  • Family planning clinics

  • Doctors at university or college health centres

  • Genitourinary medicine (STD) clinics are also a quick way of getting emergency contraception and advice.

  • A private doctor

  • Walk-in clinics in central London

  • Directly at the chemist. Most pharmacies in Europe sell the morning after pill without a prescription. The price varies from country to country; currently you can buy it in the UK from around £22. However bear in mind that not all chemists are willing to sell and advise on the use of the morning after pill. To avoid delays, it's probably worth calling the pharmacy first to check if they supply the morning after pill without a prescription.

The morning after pill: Ella one

Ella one is an innovative trend in emergency contraception. It safeguards from pregnancy till 5 days after unprotected intercourse during your menstrual cycle. 98 % women are shielded from conception with ella one. You can get more information about Ella one and buy it here

What is the name for the morning after pill?

The morning after pill currently prescribed in the UK is:

  • Levonelle 1500, which is the morning-after pill on prescription; and
  • Levonelle one step, which is the one you buy over the counter.

Both are identical and contain one tablet per pack -the difference is the price you pay.

A new option is ellaOne, which works in a similar way, but can be used for up to 5 days after intercourse.

What is in Emergency contraceptive pills?

Usually, emergency contraceptive pills contain higher doses of the same hormones found in regular contraceptive pills.

The Morning After Pill

Free online consultation

Health Express is the first truly recognized, legal UK website offering free on-line medical consultations with UK doctors, covering conditions such as impotence, obesity and the morning after pill.   

If you want to find out more about the Morning-After Pill treatments and their prices Click to start your Free Online Consultation at Health Express now.  A doctor will provide a response to your  medical consultation within one hour.

Obtaining treatment can be done easily by following the three simple steps below:

Step 1 – Click on the button above to begin your free online consultation.  You will need to  provide your medical details which will then be reviewed by a registered UK doctor.

Step 2- Once the doctor has reviewed your consultation, you will be recommended a range of treatment options.

Step 3 - Your diagnosis will be emailed to you.

Side effects of using the morning after pill:

The most common side effects are nausea and disruption of the menstrual cycle. Some women also experience abdominal pain, breast tenderness, fatigue, headaches and dizziness. Side effects should not last for more than a few days. Generally side effects –except the disruption of the menstrual cycle- should disappear within 24 hours.

Emergency contraception is not recommended to women who are already pregnant. The morning after pill will not work if you are pregnant; the morning after pill is not designed to terminate a pregnancy.


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    • Cagsil profile image


      9 years ago from USA or America

      Hey Anath, I read this hub, when you first published, but since I am a man, I really didn't have a need for it, but I find it very useful to others(women). Great job on the hub. Thank you for sharing. So many other can benefit from it. :)

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 

      9 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I agree... prescriptions just drive up the price.

      Not everything can be restricted for the 'sake of the children'... sexual activity is for adults, and so is the product in question. If they're engaging in the one, then they're gonna get the other , by hook or by crook. The answer is better parental supervision - not just regulating everything they might get their addled little minds and hands on.

    • Anath profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      I think sexual education is a must to avoid that kind of situation ocbill. However, in an emergency the morning after pill is a much better and less traumatic option than abortion.

      Yes Cari, we should encourage people be responsible and take precautions. The morning after pill is not meant to be used as a method of contraception, it is ONLY an emergency option. It is a very difficult situation when teenagers are concerned, I think that at the end it is a case of the "lesser evil" and having the morning after pill is a much better option than having an abortion or even worse coping with an unwanted pregnancy.

    • Cari Jean profile image

      Cari Jean 

      9 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      Personally, I don't think it's a good idea that this is OTC. If you need a script for the pill why wouldn't you need a script for this as well? And for kids to be taking this stuff without their parents knowledge is just wrong. We don't know what long-term effects this could possibly have on a young girl or even a woman's health. Yes, I know accidents can happen but I think people need to be more responsible.

    • ocbill profile image


      9 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      yeah, no prescription is great news. Although, I heard from a barber that one his regulars, a doctor who does abortions, that most of his clients were under 14 years. parents?

    • Anath profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      I think it is good that now you can get it over the counter without needing a prescription CM.

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 

      9 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I'm glad this is finally becoming available..


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