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Emergency Contraception

What is emergency contraception?

  • Emergency contraception is a back-up contraception. You can use emergency contraception to avoid an unplanned pregnancy after you have had sex without using contraception, or if your method of contraception has failed (for example, the condom slipped or you missed a pill)
  • You can use emergency contraception up to 5 days after having unprotected sex.
  • You can choose from two different types of emergency contraception options: The emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) and the Copper Coil (also known as post-coital IUCD)
  • The Copper Coil (IUCD) can be fitted as emergency contraception by a family planning clinic or trained doctor up to 5 days after unprotected sex.
  • Emergency contraception is more effective if you take it as soon as possible after you have had unprotected sex.
  • While no method of emergency contraception is 100% successful, the IUCD is the most effective of the three options.
  • Emergency contraception does not provide any protection from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  • Talk to your doctor about the best emergency contraception option for you. While you are there, it might be a good time to talk about regular contraception too.
  • Since 1 July 2017, medical card holders can get emergency contraception directly from a pharmacy, free of charge, without having to go to their doctor for a prescription.