The Pill. Condoms. IUDs. Nowadays, there are countless forms of contraception available, making it as easy as possible to practice safe sex. But what happens if you forget to use contraception, or if your first method failed?

This is where the morning after pill can help.

How many times can you rely on the morning after pill? How effective is it? Discover all you need to know about the morning after pill and much more right here.

What Does The Morning After Pill Do?

Emergency contraception is most commonly known as the morning after pill. This pill is an over the counter medication which prevents unplanned pregnancy. Despite its name, the pill can typically be taken up to 72-hours after sex, but the sooner it is taken, the more effective it will be at stopping or delaying the release of an egg.

What Types of Morning After Pill Are There?

Levonelle is a type of morning-after pill intended to be taken within 72-hours of sex. The Levonelle pill is said to work by preventing an egg being released or eliminating the ability of it to become fertilized by the sperm if already descended.

EllaOne is another form of emergency contraception but has a longer window of effectiveness. It can be taken up to 5 days after intercourse takes place. The EllaOne pill mainly aims to delay or prevent ovulation to help prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Unlike other morning-after pills, this cannot be taken in conjunction with certain other medicines, such as HIV treatment drugs.

What Are The Side Effects of The Morning After Pill?

Much like other forms of contraception, the morning after pill method is very safe but is not without side effects. These include:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Irregular menstrual cycle

If you experience any of the above symptoms on a regular basis, it’s important to speak to your GP.

Emergency contraception is to be used as a one time fix and does not protect you from any further unprotected sex during your cycle; it also has no prevention qualities from sexually transmitted diseases (STIs).

When Do You Have To Take The Morning After Pill?

The effectiveness of the pill will entirely depend on the time after sex it is taken. After unprotected sex, Levonelle can be taken within 72-hours to effectively prevent pregnancy, but the longer you wait to take it, the less effective it becomes. The medication is most effective when taken as soon as possible…

  • Within 24-hours = 95% success rate
  • Within 24 to 48-hours = 85% success rate
  • Within 48 to 72-hours = 58% success rate

However, this period can vary depending on the specific pill you take, EllaOne is effective once taken up to 5-days (120 hours) after unprotected sex and has an effectiveness rate of 98% if used properly.

How Many Times Can You Rely On The Morning After Pill?

The morning after pill has no effect on a woman's long term health and despite some minor side effects, the pill is a safe and simple method of contraception. But this doesn't mean that it should be a long-term solution.

Although the pill does not cause serious harm, it can throw your hormones off course. Menstrual cycles are personal to every woman, with some being regimented and others irregular, but the morning after pill can shake things up. Due to the prevention of ovulation, you could experience irregular bleeding and unravelled emotions because of the disturbance to your hormones.

If you use emergency contraception as what it is - for emergencies - your body has time to rejig your regular cycle and hormones can reset, but frequent use does not allow the body to get back into a routine. It is advised to limit the usage of the morning after pill to once a cycle, to prevent the risk and severity of side effects.

Where Can I Get The Morning After Pill?

Emergency contraception is available to all women, even those under the age of 16. It is most commonly found at:

  • Sexual health clinics
  • GP surgeries
  • Young people clinics
  • NHS walk-in centres
  • An online pharmacy
  • A&E

Many women prefer to opt for more discreet online services, as the pill can be delivered in unbranded packaging. This will be exactly the case at Express Pharmacy, where you can buy effective emergency contraception at the click of a button.

Although not encouraged as a prefered method of contraception, the pill is widely available to everyone in case of emergencies. For girls under the age of 16, getting the morning after pill is kept confidential as long as a doctor or pharmacist believes you are aware and conscious of the decision you are making.

For more information regarding the morning after pill, get in touch with our experts on 0208 123 0703.