contraception

Morning After Pill

LevonelleLevonelle

Levonelle is an emergency contraceptive that can be used within three days of unprotected sex. It contains the active ingredient levonorgestrel.

Use within 3 days (72 hours) of unprotected sex
From £21.99

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ellaOneellaOne

A type of ‘morning after pill’, EllaOne (ulipristal acetate) can be effective at preventing pregnancy when taken within five days of unprotected sex.     

Use within 5 days (120 hours) of unprotected sex
From £34.99

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What is the Morning After Pill

The morning after pill is a form of emergency contraception designed to stop an unwanted pregnancy after an instance of unprotected sex or if your usual contraception has failed as in the case of a missed contraceptive pill or split condom.

The first progestin-only morning after pill became available on the market in the USA in 1999 so you can be comfortable knowing that it has been used by many women safely and effectively over the course of thirty years.

What different contraception are available?

Click Pharmacy offer the two morning after pills which are presently on the market. Both Levonelle and ellaOne can be taken after unprotected sexual intercourse and have a similar result. The difference between them is that Levonelle can only be taken effectively for up to 3 days post intercourse and ellaOne up to 5.

Why use it?

Contraception is most commonly used to prevent unwanted pregnancies. It gives the user control over their body, allowing them to be sexually active without having to worry about falling pregnant. There are many different methods that can be used, giving you the option of finding the right solution for you. While there are various forms of birth control you can take in preparation, you can also feel reassured in knowing that there are products like Levonelle and ellaOne available if you find yourself unprotected. However, it’s important to note that using regular contraception is more reliable at preventing pregnancy than relying on emergency forms.

Is it safe to take the morning after pill?

It is perfectly safe to take the morning after pill. There have been no serious side effects reported nor is the emergency contraception designed to cause an abortion - it will simply help to prevent a pregnancy from occurring in the first place when taken within the time given frame. It’s important to note that if taken when pregnant the high levels of hormones in the pills can potentially affect the development of the foetus, so if you think you could be pregnant then do a test or visit your GP first before purchasing the pill.

The morning after pills have only been medically trialled and assessed in the manner in which they were designed to be taken which is only very rarely and in an emergency. As such, there is little known about longterm implications upon your health if taken any more regularly than this. It has though been used for over thirty years by millions of women and there have been no reports of serious issues from its use over this time.

How does treatment work?

Each method works in a different way, however, they both act to prevent pregnancy through affecting the hormone known as progesterone.

  • Levonelle introduces synthetic progesterone into the system which helps to prevent ovulation
  • ellaOne affects the progesterone itself which delays ovulation until the sperm is no longer alive and is therefore unable to fertilise the egg.

Alongside this, the morning after pill is designed to thicken the mucus at the entrance to the womb which makes it more difficult for the sperm to get through to fertilise the egg which would cause you to get pregnant.

It is important to bear in mind that neither Levonelle nor ellaOne are intended to be used as a regular form of contraception. Even though it is good to know that they are available for you should you need them, they are not as effective as using a regular form of contraception such as the coil, the pill or condoms. As well as this, the morning after pill is more expensive than these other forms of contraception which you can usually get from on the NHS.

Are there any side effects?

Both Levonelle and ellaOne can cause side effects which can include:

  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • tiredness
  • headaches
  • tender breasts.

You may also get potential abdominal issues such as vomiting and diarrhoea and if this occurs you should take a second dose to ensure the pill can work effectively.

While there are no serious side effects associated with using either of these medications as prescribed, they can cause changes to your next period due to the higher dose of hormones being introduced into your system. These shifts can include your period starting earlier or later and being either lighter or heavier than normal though more often than not women experience a normal menstrual cycle after taking the morning after pill.

Though it is not designed to be taken regularly, if used several times throughout the same month for example then the morning after pill can result in an irregular menstrual cycle and changes to your period leaving them unpredictable.

Can I buy the morning after pill online?

Yes, you can purchase both Levonelle and ellaOne here at Click Pharmacy. There are certain contraindications to taking them so a short questionnaire must be completed and assessed by one of our doctors after which, if suitable, you will be sent your pill for next day delivery.

Can I get the morning after pill for free?

Some pharmacies are part of an NHS scheme which offers the morning after pill to women under 25 though this is subject to eligibility and pharmacist availability. You can get the morning after pill for free by going to your doctor, GUM clinic or walk-in centre but the only issue with this is that the sooner you can take the pill the better your chances are of it working to prevent a pregnancy. As such some women prefer to go directly to a pharmacy and pay for it right rather than waiting for an appointment.

If you would like further information or advice on taking the morning after pill and/or deciding which is best for your situation, you can speak to a pharmacist at your local chemist or contact one of our healthcare specialists here at Click Pharmacy for a private, free and confidential appointment.