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What is Emergency Contraception?

What is Emergency Contraception?

Emergency contraception is contraception that is used AFTER an episode of unprotected sex , i.e where contraception was not used or it failed e.g. condom burst.

There are 3 different types

  • Over the counter medication - available from pharmacies without a prescription from a doctor.  It is available from a wide range of pharmacies throughout Ireland since February 2011.  It costs between 20 to 45 euro.

  • Medication requiring a prescription.  Prescriptions are available from DIT Health Centres, most G.P’s or Family Planning clinics.

  • The Coil is suitable for women who are too late for the oral tablets and it may be inserted up to 5 days after unprotected sex.  Read  a Well Woman fact sheet on this here

When can I take it?

As soon as possible after the episode.  The highest success rate occurs if taken within the first 24 hours.  The oral tablets need to be taken within 72 hours after the episode.  However a coil can be inserted up to 5 days following the episode.

How does it work?

How to use a condom correctly so it does not burst?

Contraceptive choices

Sexually Transmitted Infections – How to get tested

Condoms/ abstinence are the best forms of protection against STIs and pregnancies