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Emergency Contraception

Emergency Contraceptive Pill - Levonelle
Despite being known as the morning after pill, current guidelines from the Family Planning Association state that the morning after pill can be taken within 72 hours of intercourse. It is however, significantly more effective if taken within 24 hours. It is therefore important that you act quickly.

If you need post-coital contraception, seek help immediately by phoning your GP, the Laurels Sexual Health Clinic or the local Family Planning clinic, all of whom will be able to prescribe you the emergency pill for free. It is also available out of hours from Addenbrookes A&E department.

The Emergency pill is also free from a number of pharmacists (including Boots) once you have had a short consultation or if you prefer not to have a consultation you can buy it for £25.

The "morning after" pill can be hard on your system, and may induce nausea and your period may become irregular for a short time. It does not have any long term effect on your health. Remember that emergency contraception offers no protection against Sexually Transmitted Infections , so if you have had unprotected sex you may wish to consider having a sexual health check-up at the Laurels Sexual Health Clinic, 20 Newmarket Road.

Emergency IUD
According to the family Planning Association, the emergency IUD is the most effective method of emergency contraception. An IUD is a small plastic and copper device that is put into your uterus by a trained doctor or a nurse. An emergency IUD is fitted up to five days after unprotected sex.

If the emergency IUD cannot be fitted immediately you may be advised to take the emergency contraceptive pill in the meantime. Fitting an IUD can be uncomfortable or painful and there is a very small chance of getting an infection in your uterus. Although uncommon, it is also possible that the IUD could perforate your uterus or pelvis, especially if fitted by an inexperienced nurse or doctor.

To find out if the emergency IUD is right for you, you can go to your GP, the Laurels Sexual Health Clinic or the local Family Planning clinic, all of whom will be able to advise you about the emergency IUD as well as prescribe you the emergency pill if it is decided that this is a better course of action for you.