You have a second chance
You forgot the pill, the condom broke, your diaphragm wasn't placed properly, you got your non-fertile days wrong – there are a plenty of reasons things might not go to plan with your preferred method of contraception. That's what emergency contraception is for.
Types of Emergency Contraception
Emergency Contraceptive Pill
Often called ‘the morning after pill’, it’s exactly that; a pill containing hormones that is designed to prevent pregnancy. It should be taken up to 24 hours after unprotected sex, but ideally within the first 12. Since it contains higher doses of hormones than the contraceptive pills, it is not supposed to be taken regularly.
The Copper Coil
A long-acting method of contraception that does not include hormones, the copper coil or IUD uses copper ions to immobilize sperm and stop fertilized eggs from embedding in the lining of the womb. If inserted less than 5 days after unprotected sex, it can be effective as an emergency contraceptive. You can then keep wearing it for up to 5 to 10 years to prevent unintended pregnancy.
Remember to Consult Your Doctor or Nurse
If you have any concerns or questions about emergency contraception, it’s a good idea to talk to a doctor or nurse. If you didn’t intend to have unprotected sex, for example if the condom broke, it might also be a good idea to ask them for an STI test.
ALTERNATIVE CONTRACEPTION METHODS
Emergency contraceptive pills shouldn’t be taken often, so if you find yourself needing them more than once, consider these long-acting contraceptives:
A small, flexible T-shaped plastic frame that releases low levels of hormones. It is placed in your womb by a doctor.
A small, T-shaped plastic frame with a copper wire that is placed in your womb by a doctor.
A small, flexible silicone rod that releases hormones. It is placed under the skin of your upper arm by a doctor.
A shot containing progestin that is effective for up to three months. It is administered by a doctor.
NEED ADVICE? SPEAK TO YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL
Seek out an appointment with your doctor or nurse for further support that is specific to you and your lifestyle.