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Emergency contraception

Emergency contraception is to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex.

It is important to get emergency contraception as soon as possible after unprotected sex and ideally within 3 days (72 hours) to maximise effectiveness.

However, options are available until at least 5 days (120 hours) after and occasionally longer depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle.

Where can I get emergency contraception?

The main types of emergency contraception are listed below. Visit Sexwise: Emergency contraception for more information.

Morning after pill

You can get advice and access emergency oral contraception (most commonly known as the morning after pill) from:

  • Contraception or sexual health clinics – like us!
  • Brook centres
  • Some pharmacies (free of charge if you are under 21 years of age – visit for a list of pharmacies in Oxfordshire that offer this service)
  • Most NHS walk-in centres and minor injuries units
  • Most GP surgeries

Two pills are available. We can advise as to which is the most appropriate pill for you, based on your individual circumstances. Contact us as soon as possible for a telephone appointment.

Emergency coil

Also known as an emergency copper intra-uterine device (IUD) or emergency copper coil, this is the most effective method of emergency contraception and can also be used as ongoing contraception.

Contact us as soon as possible for a telephone appointment; you will then be given a clinic appointment if necessary.

Why you might need emergency contraception

  • You had sex without using contraception
  • You used a condom but are worried it split / came off
  • You are using contraceptive pills / patch but are worried you have not been using these properly
  • You are late getting your contraceptive injection (14 weeks or more since last injection)
  • You have an implant but the recommended renewal date has passed
  • You had a coil but it may have fallen out or you can’t feel the threads