The morning after pill can help prevent pregnancy by delaying ovulation. This means that after unprotected sex, no egg is released and sperm can’t fertilise anything.
Lots of people don’t know that there are two different types of morning after pill: one containing ulipristal acetate (known as ellaOne) and another containing levonorgestrel. They work in a similar way, but ellaOne has been shown to be 2.5 times more effective than levonorgestrel when taken within 24 hours of unprotected sex.
Levonorgestrel can be effective when taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex, whereas ellaOne can be effective for up to 120 hours afterwards.
You do not need a prescription to get the emergency contraceptive pill. It can be given to you by a pharmacist, doctor, sexual health clinic or it can be ordered online. It can also be obtained free of charge from the NHS.
You will be asked some questions before being given the morning after pill, to make sure that the medicine is suitable for you. For more information about that, see here.
Some people experience side effects after taking the morning after pill, but these are normally mild, and not everyone experiences them. If you vomit within 3 hours of taking the morning after pill you will need to take another dose, as it will not be effective.