broadgate gp

Emergency Contraception London

Emergency contraception is a safe, and effective method of preventing pregnancy when regular contraception has failed or if no contraception was used. Sometimes described as the morning after pill, emergency contraception can be effective up to 5 days after unprotected sex.

  • Emergency contraceptive pills are available directly from our in-house Pharmacy in Broadgate GP without a Doctor’s prescription.
  • Urgent appointments (walk in and booking ) are available from Monday to Friday. 
  • If you require emergency contraception please advise reception staff that you need see or speak to a doctor on the day of your request.  Confidentiality is assured at all times. 

At Broadgate GP we also provide a wide range of contraceptions. Our nurses and GP’s can advise you on all aspects of contraception, pills (including emergency contraception), diaphragms, IUDs, coils and sterilisation.

The Two Methods of Emergency Contraception

There are two methods of emergency contraception; 

  1. Emergency contraceptive pill (ECP).
  2. IUCD (Intrauterine Contraception Device)

1. Emergency contraceptive pill (ECP)

The emergency contraceptive pill is also sometimes referred to as the “morning after pill” which is slightly misleading because, depending on the brand you take, it can be effective for up to between 72 hours and 120 hours after having had unprotected sex. However for maximum effectiveness it is recommended that whichever brand of ECP you take, that you take it as soon as possible after participating in unprotected sex.

For the avoidance of doubt whichever form of emergency contraception you decide to take, it does not bring about an abortion. It prevents you from getting pregnant in the first place.

Levonelle and ellaOne

There are two brands or emergency contraceptive pill currently in use here in UK; one is called Levonelle and the other, ellaOne. Levonelle is licensed to be taken up to 72 hours after having unprotected sex, and ellaOne is licensed to be taken for up to 120 hours after.

In a trial conducted by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the drug Levonorgestrel (which is the drug used in Levonelle) recorded the following results in terms of effectiveness:

  • 95% effective when taken within 24 hours of having had unprotected sex
  • 85% effective when taken within 25 to 48 hours
  • 58% effective when taken within 49 to 72 hours

Taking either type of contraceptive pill can create side effects that include nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. They can also give you abdominal pain, a headache and tender breasts.

Both Levonelle and ellaOne can also make you have your periods earlier or later than usual.

Who can take the emergency contraceptive pill?

The vast majority of women can take the emergency contraceptive pill, including women who cannot ordinarily take hormonal contraception such as the combined contraception pill or the contraception patch.

2. The IUD (Intrauterine Contraceptive Device)

In general terms an IUD (Intrauterine Contraceptive Device) is more effective than an ECP. Whereas WHO research shows Levonorgestrel (the drug used in Levonelle) to be 95% effective if taken within 24 hours (there is no information from the WHO on ellaOne), one of the newer types of IUD (containing more copper) is over 99% effective.

Another consideration that works in the favour of an IUD is that whereas the ECP is for emergency use only, and should not be used on an ongoing basis as your usual method of contraception, an IUD can be left in place to function as your regular method of contraception for up to 5 years.

The main downside of an IUD as a method of emergency contraception is from a convenience point of view. Whereas the ECB can be purchased over-the-counter in most pharmacies, and IUD has to be inserted by a qualified clinician.

The possible side effects of the IUD

Side effects from having an IUD fitted are rare but where they occur they can include:

  • Damage to the womb
  • Expulsion
  • Infection
  • Pain

If you do decide to use the IUD as your ongoing regular method of contraception, it could result in heavier, longer and more painful periods.

Call into the walk-in well woman clinic or family planning clinic services – Broadgate Clinic London Wall

If you live and/or work in London and you would like more information regarding emergency contraception, or you would like to purchase the emergency contraceptive pill or perhaps have an Intrauterine Contraception Device fitted, why not drop in to the private, walk-in well woman clinic or family planning clinic services that we operate here at Broadgate Clinic London Wall?

Our opening hours are:

Monday to Thursday             08:00 to 18:30

Friday                                      08:00 to 17:30

If you prefer to phone ahead to make an appointment, the number to call is 020 7638 4330.