Emergency contraception

Providing pregnancy prevention after unprotected sex

A short-term pregnancy prevention method

If you've had unprotected sex or think your contraception hasn't worked properly you could be pregnant.

If you've had unprotected sex in the last 3 days and don't want to be pregnant, you can use emergency contraception.

Important emergency contraception fact: You should take emergency contraception as soon as possible after unprotected sex to prevent getting pregnant, as it only works up to 3 days after unprotected sex. If you've had unprotected sex more than 72 hours or you are late on your menstrual cycle, you will need to take a pregnancy test.


Intrauterine device (IUD): Over 99% when taken within 5 days of unprotected sex.

Emergency contraceptive pill: Up to 85% when taken within 3 days of unprotected sex.


At our Abuja, Edo, Delta, Lagos  and Port Harcourt centres including our channels of service delivery in the communities where we work.


Please contact us to find out about pricing.

Emergency contraception types

There are two kinds of emergency contraception available to reduce the risk of an unplanned pregnancy - the IUD and the emergency contraceptive pill.

Intrauterine device (IUD)

An IUD is the most effective form of emergency contraceptive. If inserted within 5 days of unprotected sex, it can prevent up to 99.9% of unplanned pregnancy. It's also an effective, long-acting reversible contraceptive and can be left in for up to 5 or 10 years depending on which type is used. IUDs can be removed as soon as couples desire to have another child.

Emergency contraceptive pill

The emergency contraceptive pill, also known as the 'morning after pill', can be used to reduce the risk of an unplanned pregnancy and can be taken up to 5 days after unprotected sex. 

Frequently asked questions about emergency contraception

What are the advantages of emergency contraception?

Emergency contraception offers the following advantages as a short-term method of contraception:

  • It is safe for almost all women
  • Using emergency contraception does not affect long term fertility
  • It does not cause an abortion
  • You can use emergency contraception at any time in your menstrual cycle
  • Emergency contraception is not harmful to your health.

What are the disadvantages of emergency contraception?

When deciding if emergency contraception is a method right for you, here are a few quick facts you should consider:

  • It will only work for sex that occurred in the previous five days
  • It is not recommended as a regular method of contraception
  • Unlike condoms, it does not protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • It may have some side effects, such as bleeding, nausea and fatigue.

Are there any medicines that can interfere with emergency contraception?

Emergency contraceptives can interfere with other medications. Depending which brand of emergency contraception you use, there is a small risk it may affect the following medication:

  • St John’s Wort herbal medicine
  • Various epilepsy medicines
  • Various HIV medicines
  • Various tuberculosis (TB) medicines
  • Antacid medicines

When should I use emergency contraception?

You should use emergency contraception in these situations:

  • After unprotected sex
  • The condom split or came off
  • Missing pills while taking the oral contraceptive pill
  • Being sick or having diarrhoea while taking the oral contraceptive pill
  • Being late for your repeat contraceptive injectable
  • Forgetting to use a form of contraception
  • Not being able to feel your IUD threads
  • Taking medicines which reduce the effectiveness of hormonal contraception
  • Following sexual assault or rape

If you find remembering your contraception a regular problem, it might be worth exploring other methods.

Take a look at our online contraception tool. The website uses a simple questionnaire to provide you with clear, tailored advice on your contraceptive options.

Does emergency contraception protect me against sexually transmitted infections?

No. Emergency contraception only reduces the chance of you getting pregnant, and won't protect you against STIs.

The best way to reduce your risk of STIs is by having safer sex by using barrier methods such as male condoms and female condoms.

If you've had unprotected sex you should get tested for STIs. We can test you for STIs and arrange emergency contraception for you.

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