FAQs about emergency contraception

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FAQs about emergency contraception

If you are considering options for emergency contraception, you may have questions about the morning after pill. Read on to find answers to common questions.

Below are some common questions about the morning after pill:

Q: What is Boots Emergency Contraceptive 1.5mg?

Boots Emergency Contraceptive 1.5mg contains Levonorgestrel, a progestogen-based emergency hormonal contraceptive, commonly known as the morning after pill.

It can be used to help prevent a pregnancy within 72 hours (three days) of having unprotected sex. However, the sooner you take it after unprotected intercourse, preferably within 12 hours, the more effective it is.

Q: How effective is the morning after pill?

The Boots Emergency Contraceptive 1.5mg morning after pill is up to 84 percent effective in preventing pregnancy if taken as directed within 12 hours of intercourse. It can be taken up to 72 hours after having unprotected sex, but its effectiveness decreases with time.

Q: How does the morning after pill work?

It is unclear exactly how the morning after pill works to prevent pregnancy, but it is though that it:

  • Stops the body releasing an egg (ovulating).
  • Prevents sperm from meeting an egg that has been, or is about to be released (fertilisation).
  • Stops a fertilised egg from attaching itself to the womb.

The tablet will not work if:

  • You had unprotected sex more than 72 hours ago
  • You are already pregnant

If this is the case, you must not take the tablet.

Q: How can I get the morning after pill?

Boots Emergency Contraceptive 1.5mg is available from most Boots pharmacies, for those aged 16 years and over. It is not suitable for everyone and will only be sold after a confidential discussion with a pharmacist.

The consultation with the pharmacist is anonymous and is completely confidential. It can usually be done in a private consultation room in the store. The pharmacist can offer advice as to the options available, as well as answering any questions you may have about the morning after pill.

Q: Can anyone take the morning after pill?

Boots Emergency Contraceptive 1.5mg is suitable for women over the age of 16. However, it is not suitable for everyone.

Do not take the tablet if you:

  • Are already pregnant
  • Had unprotected sex more than 72 hours ago
  • Have a lactose intolerance

Talk to your doctor before taking the morning after pill if you have:

  • Severe liver problems
  • Severe digestive problems e.g. Crohn's disease
  • Ever had an ectopic pregnancy, fallopian tube surgery or pelvic inflammatory disease

Girls under the age of 16 or women who are breastfeeding may wish to talk to their pharmacist, family planning clinic or GP for more advice.

Q: Are there any side effects?

Some people experience side effects. These may include:

  • Dizziness and feeling overly tired
  • Feeling sick, being sick, lower stomach pain or diarrhoea
  • Headache
  • Unexpected bleeding not related to your monthly cycle
  • Breast tenderness

If you experience any difficulty in breathing or swelling of the face, neck, tongue or throat, seek medical attention immediately.

Q: Will taking Boots Emergency Contraceptive 1.5mg affect my periods?

This medicine may disturb your normal monthly cycle. For example, your next period may start a few days earlier or later than usual. If your next period is more than five days late, or is unusually light or heavy, or there is any other reason you might suspect you are pregnant, you should take a pregnancy test and talk to your doctor as soon as possible.

Q: Can I take the morning after pill if I am on other medication?

Tell the pharmacist or GP about ANY other medicine you are taking before you take Boots Emergency Contraceptive 1.5mg, particularly the following:

  • Barbiturates, Primidone, Phenytoin, Carbemazepine (used predominantly to treat epilepsy)
  • Rifampicin or Rifabutin (usually for tuberculosis)
  • Ritonavir (for HIV infection)
  • Griseofulvin (for fungal infections)
  • Ciclosporin
  • Herbal remedies containing St John's Wort

If you are unsure, please consult your GP or pharmacist.

Q: Will the morning after pill protect me from sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?

No, Boots Emergency Contraceptive 1.5mg will not protect you from any sexually transmitted disease. Only barrier methods such as condoms may do that.

Q: Is the morning after pill available on www.boots.com?

No. The morning after pill can only be bought in a Boots store, at the pharmacy counter. This is because it is important to have a consultation with a pharmacist before purchasing and taking the emergency contraceptive pill, to get all the advice you need, as well as ensuring it is suitable for you and your circumstances.

In addition, it is important to take the morning after pill as quickly as possible after having unprotected sex and therefore visiting your local pharmacist is the quickest option.

Q: What other advice is available?

If you want advice on any aspect of your sexual health and relationships, you can speak in confidence to the pharmacist, your GP, the family planning clinic or if you are under 25, the Brooke Advisory Centre.

Q: What happens if more than 72 hours has elapsed since having unprotected sex?

If more than 72 hours has elapsed since having unprotected sex, do not take the morning after pill. You can speak to the pharmacist, your GP, the family planning clinic or if you are under 25 you can also contact the Brooke Advisory Centre, for advice on alternative emergency contraception options.

Always read the label of Boots Emergency Contraceptive 1.5mg.

Find your nearest Boots stockist here

Read more like this:
Read about the morning after pill

Related categories:
Find out more about family planning
View our range of condoms

Find out more at BootsWebMD.com:
Find out more from the contraception health information centre at BootsWebMD
Read more about emergency contraception at BootsWebMD

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