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Emergency Hormonal Contraception (Morning After Pill)

The emergency contraceptive pill (often called the “morning after pill”) is a pill that you take after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. Emergency contraceptive pills are available directly from a Pharmacy without a Doctor’s prescription to women over 16 years of age, subject to meeting certain criteria.

From July 2017 the emergency contraception service is available FREE of charge to medical card holders.

If you think you need emergency contraception, it’s important to act quickly.

Emergency contraception is a safe, effective and responsible method of preventing pregnancy when regular contraception has failed or if no contraception was used.

Emergency contraception can be effective for up to 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected sex but is more effective the sooner you use it.

Remember, emergency contraception cannot protect against a sexually transmitted infection.

Talk to your Pharmacist or Doctor if you have any questions about STI’s or visit www.thinkcontraception.ie for more information.

Our Pharmacists have been trained to treat requests for emergency contraception professionally and confidentially. In our private consultation room the Pharmacist will need to ask a few simple questions before giving you the medication. This will help the Pharmacist ensure that the Emergency Contraceptive pill is suitable for you to use, to ensure that you are familiar with how to use it and with any side-effects that may be expected. If for any reason it is not suitable, the Pharmacist will direct you another source of help and support.

Some of the reasons it may not be suitable to supply emergency contraception include:

too much time has passed for the medicine to be effective
you are taking other medicines that interact with emergency contraception
you have an existing medical condition that means it is not safe to take emergency contraception
your last period was irregular in some way
You will be supplied with the medication, along with advice from the Pharmacist on how it should be taken. Our Pharmacist will also offer you advice on the options available for long-term methods of contraception.

Emergency Contraception should not replace regular, long-term contraception. Always read the label.

NOTE: Emergency contraception is not 100% effective.

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