is available to prevent pregnancy if you have had sexual intercourse without
contraception or if your regular method of contraception has failed. In
Australia, there are three emergency contraception options available:
types of emergency oral contraception pill available over the counter (without
prescription) from your local pharmacy, and
copper intrauterine device (IUD) available from your GP or local sexual health
and family planning clinic.
treatment option you choose:
- You must act as soon as possible (within
3-5 days of having unprotected sex).
- It can not protect you from sexually
contraception will prevent pregnancy before it begins. It is not the same as an
abortion or pregnancy termination
Australia, you can access two 'morning-after' pills, levonorgestrel or
ulipristal acetate. Both are available without a prescription from your local
pharmacy and are most effective taken as soon as possible (levonorgestrel
within three days or ulipristal within five days of unprotected sex).
emergency oral contraceptive pills work by interrupting ovulation, either delaying
or preventing the release of an egg from the ovaries. These pills are approximately
85% effective and are considered very safe with only minimal short-term side
effects, including nausea, breast tenderness, and headache. Your next period
may also begin earlier or later than expected. Your pharmacist will advise you further
can take the emergency oral contraceptive pill. However, we always recommend
you speak to your pharmacist about which one is right for you. Information including:
you are currently breastfeeding,
medications you are taking, and
time since you had unprotected sex,
your pharmacist determine which option is right for you.
Copper intrauterine device
included in discussions about ongoing contraception, the copper IUD is also
available as emergency contraception.
IUD works by interfering with sperm, preventing them from fertilising the egg
and, sometimes, preventing the implantation of a fertilised egg.
99% effective at preventing pregnancy, a trained doctor or nurse must insert
the copper IUD within five days of unprotected sex. The copper IUD can remain
in place for many women as ongoing contraception for up to 10 years.
Other things to consider
if you had unprotected sex
emergency oral contraceptive pill nor the copper IUD protects against sexually
transmitted diseases (STDs). If your condom failed or you did not use one, you
may benefit from an STD check. Your GP or local sexual health and family
planning clinic can arrange this for you.
If you are
reaching for an emergency contraception option, it may also be time to chat
about your best longer-term contraceptive options. Your local pharmacist can
provide some non-hormonal options. However, you will require a prescription for
ongoing hormonal contraception. Again, your GP can advise the best choice for
Emergency contraception is always available
from your local capital chemist or you can book a time to discuss your needs here.