Emergency Contraception

Emergency contraception can be used by a woman to prevent pregnancy after having unprotected sex. There are 2 types of emergency contraception:

The emergency contraceptive pill (known as the “morning after pill”) can be taken up to three days (72 hours) after you have had unprotected sex. If it is taken within 24 hours of having unprotected sex, the emergency contraceptive pill is effective in preventing 95% of pregnancies. However, the later the emergency contraceptive pill is taken, the lower the success rate.

The non-hormonal coil, also known as the IUD (intrauterine device) is also a very effective emergency contraception if inserted up to five days after you’ve had unprotected sex. Sometimes called the ‘copper coil’, the IUD is a small T-shaped device that sits in your womb. It is long-acting but can be easily removed if you decide you want to become pregnant or use alternative contraception.

There are a number of places you can get emergency contraception:

  • Some Lambeth pharmacists give emergency contraception for free and our receptionists can provide you with a list
  • Lambeth residents can order emergency contraception online at SH.24.org 
  • The emergency contraceptive pill is also available free of charge from most family planning clinics and the Practice 
  • If you need emergency contraception whilst the pharmacies, sexual health clinics and Practice are closed, you can also contact NHS 111

If you would like more information about where to get emergency contraception please contact NHS 111 open 24 hours a day. The availability of these services may be reduced over bank holiday periods.

The emergency contraceptive pill should not be used as a regular method of contraception. If you would like general advice on contraception please make an appointment with the practice nurse or GP. 

C Card (free condom distribution scheme) outlets for young people aged 15-24 are also available across Lambeth. Please visit www.comecorrect.org.uk to register and find the nearest location.