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Where can I get emergency contraception? - Your contraception guide

It depends what type of emergency contraception you use. 

There are 2 methods:

  • the emergency contraceptive pill (morning after pill) – there are 2 types, Levonelle or ellaOne
  • the intrauterine device (IUD), or coil

Getting contraception during coronavirus

If you need emergency contraception, call a GP surgery, a pharmacy or a sexual health clinic as soon as possible. Only go in person if asked to.

You'll usually have a phone or video consultation. You'll be given an electronic prescription you can use to collect your contraception from a pharmacy, or get it delivered.

You can also buy emergency contraception directly from a pharmacy or private sexual health clinic without a prescription.

The emergency contraceptive pill 

Getting it for free 

You can get both Levonelle and ellaOne free of charge from: 

  • contraception clinics
  • Brook centres
  • some pharmacies (find a pharmacy – ask if they provide free emergency contraception)
  • most sexual health or genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics
  • most NHS walk-in centres and minor injuries units
  • most GP surgeries (find a GP)
  • some hospital accident and emergency (A&E) departments

Find a sexual health clinic

Buying it 

You can also buy Levonelle and ellaOne from most pharmacies, and from some organisations such as BPAS or Marie Stopes

  • Levonelle can be taken within 72 hours (3 days) of having unprotected sex, but it's most effective if taken within 12 hours of having unprotected sex. Prices vary, but it's likely to cost around £25. You need to be 16 or over to buy Levonelle. If you are under 16 you will need a prescription from a doctor to get it.
  • ellaOne can be taken within 120 hours (5 days) of having unprotected sex, but it's most effective if taken as soon as possible after having unprotected sex. Prices vary, but it's likely to cost around £35. If you are under 16, you can buy ellaOne without a prescription.

Find out more about emergency contraception.

IUD 

The IUD (intrauterine device) is available from:

  • contraception clinics
  • Brook centres
  • most sexual health or GUM clinics
  • most GP surgeries

The IUD is the most effective type of emergency contraception. It is placed inside your womb and it must be fitted by a doctor or nurse.

It must be fitted within 5 days of having unprotected sex, or, if it's possible to estimate when you ovulate, up to 5 days after you ovulate.

You can keep the IUD in as your regular method of contraception, or a doctor or nurse can remove it during your next period.

Page last reviewed: 22 June 2020
Next review due: 22 June 2023