LGBTQ+: Emergency contraception

If a girl or woman has had unprotected sex with a male partner e.g. they didn’t use a condom, had problems with a condom coming off or splitting, or have been sick whilst using the contraceptive pill, they may be worried they could be pregnant. Try not to panic!

What is emergency contraception?

Emergency contraception – sometimes called ‘the morning after pill’ - can prevent pregnancy in most cases if taken within 72 hours of having unprotected sex. The sooner it’s taken the more effective it’s likely to be so try not to delay!

Where can I get it from?

Emergency contraception is available free of charge to young people from a range of local services, including pharmacies involved in local emergency contraception schemes. If you are over 16 you can, if you choose, also buy it from chemists.

“I think I’ve left it too late...”

Don’t despair. If you didn’t manage to get emergency contraception within 72 hours of having unprotected sex you should still seek help. Click here to find a contraceptive service convenient to you. They may be able to fit an IUD as an emergency contraceptive method up to 5 days after unprotected sex.

If there is a risk you could be pregnant then there is also a risk you could have an STI. It would be wise to get tested. If there is a risk you might have been exposed to HIV it is important to speak to someone about PEP as urgently as possible and definitely within 72 hours. This is medication that can stop someone becoming infected with HIV.

Find a young person-friendly service near to you that can advise you and provides FREE emergency contraception