What is the morning after pill?
The morning after pill (also referred to as the progestogen-only pill, or POP) is an emergency contraceptive that women can take to prevent pregnancy in a quick and safe manner after unprotected sex. This medication is available to purchase in the UK in two versions, Levonelle and ellaOne. These are available to buy here at OnlineClinic.
A morning after pill is taken in the form of a single tablet and can be taken up to three or five days after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. The morning after pill is most effective the sooner you take it after unprotected sex. Efficacy rates also differ depending on the version of emergency contraception you are taking.
Levonelle, the original morning after pill, can prevent up to 95% of pregnancies if it is taken within 24 hours after having unprotected sex. It becomes progressively less effective the later you take it, dropping to 85% between 25 to 48 hours after and 58% between 49 to 72 hours.
ellaOne was proven to stop 98% of women from falling pregnant if they took it within the prescribed five day period. This means that only two out of every 100 women who took it fell pregnant after taking it.
How does the morning after pill work?
The morning after pill, containing the female hormone levonorgestrel, achieves effective birth control in two ways. Firstly it stops ovulation, preventing the ovaries from releasing eggs. Secondly it affects the responsiveness of the womb to fertilised eggs, which prevents them from embedding onto the womb lining. The morning after pill doesn't work in the long-term and can only be used once a month. This emergency contraceptive also doesn't work if you are already pregnant.
How to take the morning after pill
Listed below are some tips and instructions regarding how you should take the morning after pill:
- Take the morning after pill once as soon as possible after unprotected sex
- The pill should be taken with a drink of water
- This pill can only be taken once during each menstrual cycle
- Barrier contraceptives (e.g. condoms) should still be used for the rest of the cycle
- If your period hasn't arrived within one to three weeks of taking the contraceptive you shouldn't panic, as the test isn't guaranteed to be accurate within this timeframe
- The morning after pill won't work if you are already pregnant
Side effects and precautions
Side effects for the morning after pill are usually quite rare. However, as with most contraceptive medications, side effects can potentially occur. Possible side effects may include headaches, tiredness, nausea, mild abdominal pain, vomiting, or breast tenderness. These side effects tend to be mild in nature and disappear quickly, if they even occur at all. If you happen to get any of these potential side effects and they persist, you should talk to a doctor straight away.
Before ordering mini pills online, you should first consider the precautions associated with this form of medication:
- If your next period is early or late you should talk to a doctor.
- The morning after pill won't protect you for the entirety of your menstrual cycle, therefore additional barrier contraception will be required.
- This pill isn't efficient when protecting against ectopic pregnancies, although this form of pregnancy is rare.
For more specific precautions please visit the product pages for ellaOne and Levonelle to learn more.
Morning after pill treatment options
There are two different versions of emergency contraceptive pill available in the UK, namely Levonelle and ellaOne.
Levonelle is an oral emergency contraceptive pill that should be taken within 12 hours of having unprotected sex for it to be at its most effective. However, Levonelle can still be taken up to three days after unprotected sex. You can take Levonelle at any time during your menstrual cycle, but if your period is late or if you suspect you are already pregnant, it is best not to use Levonelle.
After taking Levonelle, you should use a condom until your next period starts, even if you are using a daily contraceptive pill.
ellaOne is a new oral contraceptive pill that can be effective for up to five days after you have unprotected sex or your contraception has failed. Tests have shown that for every 100 women that take ellaOne during this 120-hour period, only two will become pregnant. ellaOne works by changing the natural hormone progestogen. This stops your ovaries from releasing an egg and alters the environment of your womb. Similar to Levonelle, ellaOne should not be taken if you think that you may already be pregnant or if you have already taken it during your menstrual cycle.
You should use condoms after taking ellaOne until your next period arrives, even if you are taking the ongoing contraceptive pill.
The morning after pill is taken by women looking to swiftly and successfully prevent pregnancy. The morning after pills we have available at OnlineClinic are ellaOne and Levonelle. You can buy these medications in the form of a single 30mg (ellaOne) or 1.5mg (Levonelle) tablet. These highly effective and fast-acting emergency contraceptives work quickly to stop pregnancy soon after unprotected sex. You can order ellaOne and Levonelle at OnlineClinic after completing a simple online consultation. This can be done for free with no obligation. To learn more about these treatments, visit our ellaOne and Levonelle product pages.