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Emergency Contraception

The Sexual Health Service will be closed on Monday 27th May for the Bank Holiday. Please use the link below for the Pharmacy opening hours:

Pharmacy Bank Holiday Opening Hours

Many people have sex without using contraception. Sometimes we can forget to use contraception properly or occasionally it can fail for other reasons. If you have had sex without using effective contraception and you are not trying for a baby, it may not be too late to prevent a pregnancy.

Emergency Hormonal Contraception pills (sometimes called 'the morning after pill') must be taken within 72 hours (3 days) of having unprotected sex. These pills are most effective if taken within 12 hours.

You can get these pills for free from any of our clinics or from a participating pharmacy. It is advisable to check that a trained pharmacist is on site prior to attending.

Click below to see participating pharmacies in your area:

Remember our clinics may be closed on public holidays and at weekends so it is important not to leave things until the last minute.

If more than 72 hours (3 days) have passed you may have other options. We can offer certain patients an emergency contraceptive pill which can be taken up to 5 days (120 hours) after sex.  In some situations we may offer to fit an Intrauterine Device as emergency contraception which is helpful if you also want to establish regular contraception.

Please click here to read more from the NHS.

If you've had sex without using condoms you're also at risk of sexually transmitted infections.  We would recommend coming to see us for a check-up - we may be able to address your contraception and sexual health infection screen in a single appointment.

'I have to compliment everyone on their pleasant persona and their expertise and knowledge. By the end of the 5 days, I did not feel as though I had been in a hospital ward and was very relaxed.'

Patient, Ward 16 Orthopaedics, University Hospital of North Durham