Emergency contraception

Emergency contraception can be given following a burst condoms, missed pills or pills taken late or after unprotected sex. It will help and reduces the chances of pregnancy. However, emergency contraception should never be used as an alternative to normal contraception. Emergency contraception does not cause an 
abortion. Also, emergency contraception will not cause an ectopic pregnancy but may not stop one (in an ectopic pregnancy the fertilised egg is implanted outside the womb. If this happens, it will require emergency treatment).
Again, both types of emergency contraception (pill or IUD) offer no protection against sexually transmitted infections but condoms do.

There are two types of emergency contraception.


Emergency oral hormonal contraceptives

There are two emergency oral pills (sometimes known as 'the morning-after pill'). Oral emergency contraception can be issued up to 120hrs following unprotected sex. It is available from Contraception and sexual health centers, doctors and community pharmacies. 

Calderdale operates a scheme which provides free Emergency Hormonal Contraception (EHC) to Calderdale residents aged 13-25yrs, taking into account safeguarding responsibilities for those under 16.  For a full, up to date, list of Pharmacies in Calderdale operating the scheme please click here. We would also encourage people to ring ahead to make sure the provision is available at the time you are planning to attend.

Emergency hormonal contraceptives (‘morning-after pills’) should not be used as a regular method of contraception – that’s why they are called ‘emergency’. If you have taken the morning-after pill and you are not using any other contraception, now is a good time to think about what contraception might be best for you to use on a 
more regular basis.

Emergency hormonal contraceptive pills can be up to 98% effective. The sooner they are taken the more effective they are. 

Emergency Intrauterine device (IUD)

An intrauterine device (IUD) is a small, plastic and copper device that can be fitted into your womb. It can be fitted up to five days after having unprotected sex.
The IUD can be kept in as your regular method of contraception for between 3-10 years.  If you don’t want to do this for some reason then a healthcare professional can remove it during or after your next period.
An IUD is the most effective type of emergency contraception and prevents up to 99% of pregnancies if used correctly. IUD’s need to be fitted by a trained doctor or nurse and this can be done at Sexual Health Service or GP.