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Last updated:
23 October 2017

Emergency contraception

Find out about the pill you can take to prevent getting pregnant if you have had sex without contraception.

Emergency contraception can be used to stop you getting pregnant if contraception has failed or not been used. It should only be used when something has gone wrong.

The most common form is the emergency contraceptive pill (also known as the 'morning-after pill') which must be taken within 72 hours of having sex. There are other types of contraception you can take up to five days after having sex. 

The pill is most effective if you take it as soon as possible after having sex. Taking the pill within 24 hours is 95% effective at preventing pregnancy. 

You can get emergency contraception free from:

You can also buy emergency contraception from selected pharmacies in West Sussex. The medicine is free if you’re under 21, but it’s worth phoning ahead to check that the Pharmacist who prescribes the medicine will be there.

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