Worried About Pregnancy
The most important advice we can give is to NOT IGNORE the risk of pregnancy. If you are in any doubt, seek advice.
The following information explains two of the options available to you; however if you are concerned and need further information and support please contact us. Emergency contraception can be used if a contraceptive method fails or if no contraception was used at all.
There are two forms of emergency contraception – the emergency contraceptive pill and the emergency intrauterine device (IUD).
Emergency contraceptive pill
This form of emergency contraception consists of a pill containing a special dose of the hormone progestogen. The emergency contraceptive pill can be used up to 72 hours (three days) after sex.
The emergency contraceptive pill should be taken as soon as possible after having unprotected sex, and no later than 72 hours after.
The emergency contraceptive pill works in several ways. It may stop ovulation (release of an egg), it may stop an egg from being fertilised or it may stop a fertilised egg from implanting in the womb.
The emergency contraceptive pill is more effective the sooner after sex it is are taken. If the pill is taken within 24 hours after sex it will prevent 95 out of 100 pregnancies. If taken 72 hours after sex the pill will prevent 58 out of 100 pregnancies. Because the emergency contraceptive pill is more effective the sooner after sex it is taken, it is important that you seek emergency contraceptive advice as quickly as possible.
The emergency contraceptive pill is available free from:
- GPs (not in Jersey)
- family planning clinics
- NHS walk-in centres
- most sexual health/GUM clinics
- some accident and emergency departments
- some pharmacies (not in Jersey)
Women over 16 can also buy the emergency contraceptive pill from most pharmacies. The cost is approx. £24, or from BPAS (British Pregnancy Advisory Service) £10 – £15.
Emergency intrauterine device (IUD)
An IUD can be fitted as an emergency contraceptive up to five days after sex. It has to be fitted by a specially trained doctor or nurse.
The IUD works by either stopping an egg from being fertilised or by stopping it implanting in the womb.
The emergency IUD is almost 100% effective at whatever stage it is fitted.
Most family planning clinics will have at least one doctor or nurse who is able to fit IUDs. Some GPs will also have received training. It is a good idea to telephone the service before visiting to check when an appropriately trained doctor or nurse will be available.
Your Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (linked to the Sexual Assault Referral Centre) can facilitate an appointment at a family planning clinic for you or we make sure you receive it at the time of your forensic medical examination (if applicable).