Emergency Hormonal Contraception (EHC)

Emergency contraception can be used if contraception hasn’t been used when having sex or if it has failed, e.g. the condom has split or a pill has been missed.


Emergency hormonal contraception can be taken up to three to five days after having unprotected sex. The sooner it is taken the more effective it is. It can be bought over the counter from many pharmacies if you are over 16, or free from GPs and young person’s clinics, some genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics, NHS walk-in centres, NHS minor injuries units or hospital emergency departments. Some schools may also be able to provide it via the school nurse. It does not have any long-term side effects and is very safe.

Find out more about Contraception