There are two variants of the morning-after pill (emergency contraceptive pill) available in the UK: ellaOne and Levonelle. Levonelle and ellaOne can be taken to prevent pregnancy if you have had unprotected sex or your usual method of contraception was ineffective because it broke (condom) or you forgot to take it (hormonal contraception).
Prescription medications like Levonelle and ellaOne prevent pregnancy by either supplementing the body with artificial progestogen (Levonelle), or by influencing progestogen inside the body (ellaOne).
Natural progestogen in the female body controls various processes during the menstrual cycle, so using an artificial form or influencing how it works can cause changes to the natural womb environment. ellaOne and Levonelle can prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex by delaying ovulation, changing the womb lining so that an egg can't grow and blocking sperm from entering the womb.
Levonelle was the "original" morning-after pill and can stop pregnancy if it is taken up to 72 hours after you've had unprotected intercourse. It is better to take it as soon as possible, as its efficacy rate tends to drop the later you take it. Levonelle is not as likely to cause side effects, but it doesn't provide you with the same freedom as ellaOne.
ellaOne can be 98% effective at preventing pregnancy, providing it is taken within a 120 hour timeframe after you've had unprotected sex. ellaOne works in a similar way to Levonelle, but it doesn't contain artificial progestogen. Instead it uses ulipristal acetate which affects how your natural progestogen is perceived by your body.
The IUD is the only non-pill emergency contraceptive method available. IUD is short for intrauterine device and it can be fitted up to five days after you've had sex or just after ovulation. It is also known as the coil and is a small copper device that's inserted into the uterus, where it prevents sperm from reaching the egg.
Once fitted an IUD can be left in place for up to five years, and is believed to be almost 100% effective at preventing pregnancy. Although anybody can use the IUD, it's easier to fit in women who have already given birth.
If you would rather not visit your doctor or pharmacist to get an emergency contraceptive, you may be able to order it from the OnlineClinic.co.uk. We offer both Levonelle and ellaOne, but as they are both prescription medications, we ask you to complete an online consultation when you place your order. Our partner doctor reviews each order in the strictest confidence and will only recommend a treatment if it is right for you. If you can safely use Levonelle or ellaOne, your order will be processed by our pharmacy, where it will be dispensed and sent via our overnight delivery service. Should you not be approved to use these treatments, no charge will be made.