NHS emergency hormonal contraception

If you need advice about or access to emergency hormonal contraception, otherwise known as the 'morning after pill', then you can speak to any one of our pharmacists confidentially. We understand the sensitivity associated with such a request and we will always take you to a consultation room.

In order to ensure that emergency hormonal contraception is appropriate under the circumstances and that it is suitable for you we will need to ask you some questions. In most cases, where we consider it safe and appropriate for you, we can then provide you with emergency hormonal contraception free of charge.

Taken as a single pill, emergency hormonal contraception works by stopping a pregnancy before it becomes established by:

  • Delaying ovulation or the release of the egg
  • Preventing fertilisation of an egg that may already have been released
  • Stopping a fertilised egg from embedding within the lining of the womb

It must be taken within 72 hours of having unprotected intercourse and ideally within 24 hours when it is most effective. It should not be used on a regular basis as a first choice method of contraception. We can offer advice about other forms of contraception including long acting contraceptives available from your GP.

Emergency hormonal contraception is extremely safe with no serious side effects. In the unlikely event of it failing to work it has not been shown to affect the pregnancy or harm the baby.