Emergency Contraceptive Pill (ECP)

Advice from Community and Public Health on the Emergency Contraceptive Pill (ECP).

When can I use emergency contraception?
After you’ve had sex when:
  • You’ve not used protection.
  • Your normal contraception fails e.g. condom splits.
  • You’ve missed more than one contraceptive pill.
  • You’ve been vomiting or had diarrhoea while on the pill.
  • You’ve missed your injection (Depo Provera).
  • You’ve been forced to have sex without contraception.
When can I take it?
You can take it up to 72 hours (3 days) after having sex. The sooner, the better.
Where do I get it?
You can buy it from a chemist or get it free from your GP, from a Family Planning clinic on prescription, from a youth health clinic, a sexual health centre or from a Public Health Nurse at your school. You can also get it in advance so you have it ready for emergencies. Another option is to ring Healthline on 0800 611 116 to talk with a nurse about ECP, any questions you have about it, and where to get it in your area.

Family planning has more information on the Emergency Contraceptive Pill.

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