Getting the morning after pill

Providing access to the morning after pill in store or online – depending on how soon you need it.

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The emergency contraceptive pill

If you’ve had unprotected sex, or your usual method of contraception has failed, you might be worried about becoming pregnant. One of the options available to you may be the morning after pill, which works by preventing or delaying ovulation. 

Though often called the morning after pill, it can actually be taken up to five days after unprotected sex, depending on which type of pill you take. The sooner you take the morning after pill, the greater the chances of avoiding pregnancy. 

The morning after pill is intended for emergency use and should not be used on a regular basis. 

If you need the morning after pill immediately

The emergency hormonal contraceptives available at Boots are for women who’ve had unprotected sex within the last five days. Simply pop into your nearest Boots pharmacy as soon as possible to have a friendly, reassuring and confidential chat with one of our pharmacists. They’ll be able to advise you on your emergency contraceptive options, as well as offer any help or support you may need. Alternatively, you can also visit your local GP or a sexual health/contraception clinic.

You can also purchase this via Boots Online Doctor, with same day collection in store if ordered before 1pm. Find out more here.

If you want the morning after pill for future use

If you don’t need the morning after pill right now, but would like it in case you want it in the future, you can buy any of the three morning after pills we offer online. Simply fill out an online questionnaire and a pharmacist will check that your chosen pill is suitable for you before sending it out for delivery. You need to be at least 16 years old to buy the morning after pill online. If you are under the age of 16, pop into your nearest Boots pharmacy where you may benefit from a face-to-face chat with a member of our team.

Your emergency contraceptive options available at Boots

Treatment Effectiveness Timing Cost Availability/Access
ellaOne (Ulipristal Acetate) Nine in 1000 women would get pregnant after taking it within the first 24 hours after unprotected sex Up to 120 hours (five days) after unprotected sex £34.95 or free if prescribed on NHS Available online, in store and via Boots Online Doctor*
Levonelle One Step/Generic Levonorgestrel 1.5mg Tablets (Levonorgestrel) 23 in 1000 women would get pregnant after taking it within the first 24 hours after unprotected sex Up to 72 hours (three days) after unprotected sex From £15.99 or free if prescribed on NHS Available online, in store and via Boots Online Doctor*

*Always read the label. Ordering online is not suitable if needed for immediate use. If required for immediate use please visit your local store, or alternatively visit Boots Online Doctor which offers same day in store collection if ordered by 1pm.

Learn more about your morning after pill options at Boots

ellaOne

ellaOne contains ulipristal acetate, and works by postponing ovulation. It can be taken within 120 hours (five days) of unprotected sex, although it's more effective the sooner it's taken.

Active ingredient: Ulipristal Acetate

Minimum age to buy online: 16

Minimum age to buy in store: None

Not suitable if: You know or suspect you are pregnant, you are breastfeeding (unless you express and discard your milk for one week after taking ellaOne), you are allergic to ulipristal acetate or any of the other ingredients in this medicine, or you are taking certain medications, such as liver enzyme inducers or oral glucocorticoids. There may be other reasons why ellaOne may not be suitable. Our pharmacist will check suitability based on the information you give during the online questionnaire. If ellaOne isn’t suitable, please speak with your GP, a sexual health/contraception clinic or local Boots pharmacist who will be able to help.

For more information about ellaOne, please read the patient information leaflet.

Levonelle One Step/Levonorgestrel 1.5mg Tablets (generic)

Levonorgestrel, the active ingredient in Levonelle One Step and Levonorgestrel 1.5mg Tablets (generic), is a hormone-like substance. It’s thought to work by preventing ovulation, or by preventing sperm from fertilising any eggs you may have already released. It can be used within 72 hours (three days) of unprotected sex, although it’s more effective the sooner it’s taken.

Active ingredient: Levonorgestrel 

Minimum age to buy online: 16 

Minimum age to buy in store: 16

Not suitable if: You know or suspect you may be pregnant, you are at risk of or have previous history of ectopic pregnancy, you are breastfeeding (unless you discard expressed milk or avoid nursing for at least eight hours after taking the pill), you are allergic to levonorgestrel or any of the other ingredients in this medicine, or you are taking certain medications, such as liver enzyme inducers. There may be other reasons why Levonorgestrel may not be suitable. Our pharmacist will check suitability based on the information you give during the online questionnaire. If Levonorgestrel isn’t suitable, please speak with your GP, a sexual health/contraception clinic or local Boots pharmacist who will be able to help.

For more information, please read:

Levonelle One Step patient information leaflet

Generic Levonorgestrel 1.5mg Tablets patient information leaflet

Your other emergency contraception option

The most effective form of emergency contraception is the intrauterine device (IUD), also know as the coil. It can be fitted up to 120 hours (five days) – and in some cases later – after unprotected sex, either at your GP surgery or a sexual health/contraception clinic. You can then use it as your on-going form of contraception. Some women can find this invasive, but our pharmacist or your GP can tell you more about it. If you’d like to have the coil fitted, you should still take the morning after pill.


Learn more about the coil

One in 1000 women would get pregnant after choosing the coil following unprotected sex. It works by releasing copper into the womb which changes the cervical mucus, making it more difficult for sperm to reach an egg and survive. The coil is free if it's fitted at an NHS surgery or a sexual health/contraception clinic. 

Minimum age: No minimum age

Not suitable if: You are pregnant, you have an untreated STI, uterus or cervix problems, or unexplained vaginal bleeding. 

Do I have to pay for the morning after pill at Boots?

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