Morning After Pill

The 'morning after' pill is a type of emergency contraception that can be used within a few days of unprotected sex. It is usually effective, but not always. It shouldn’t be used as regular contraception.


What are the different types of the 'morning after pill'? Is there an alternative?

There are two types of emergency contraception pills that are available in Australia, the LNG-ECP and the UPA.


LNG-ECP Pill

LNG-ECP is a single-dose levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive pill that can be used for up to 3 days (72 hours) after unprotected sex. It is available from pharmacies without a prescription. It comes with different brand names.

You should not take the LNG-ECP if you are pregnant, had unprotected intercourse more than 72 hours earlier in the same menstrual cycles, have vaginal bleeding and don’t know why, have breast cancer, or are allergic to any of the ingredients.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are pregnant, taking any other medications, have high blood pressure or if you have diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer, severe liver disease or have had a stroke. You should go back to see your doctor 3 weeks after you take the pill, especially if you haven’t had a period by then.


UPA Pill

UPA is a single dose of ulipristal acetate that can be used for up to 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected sex. It is available from pharmacies or your doctor without a prescription. Its brand name is EllaOne.

You should not take UPA if you think you may be pregnant or if you are allergic to ulipristal acetate or any of its other ingredients. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have severe asthma or liver disease, if you are breastfeeding, or if you are taking any other medications as they may make the pill less effective.

If you can't take either of these pills, there is an alternative. You can have a copper intrauterine device (IUD) inserted by a trained doctor or nurse within 5 days of unprotected sex. An IUD is also an effective form of long-term contraception.


Appointments are not required, and our accredited pharmacists can supply the ECP after a private consultation.

Contact us if you have any questions

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