Emergency Contraception

If you have had unprotected sex in the last 5 days or you think that your contraceptive may have failed, you may be able to have emergency contraception to prevent a pregnancy.

There are two main types of emergency contraception available:

  • The emergency contraceptive pill which can be taken up to 120 hours (5 days) after sex
  • The intrauterine device (IUD) – sometimes called the coil – which can be fitted up to 5 days after sex or later in some circumstances

Emergency Contraceptive Pill

There are 2 types of emergency contraceptive pill and they work by stopping or delaying an egg being released or by stopping a fertilized egg settling/ implanting in the womb.

a) Levonelle

This emergency contraceptive pill is a single tablet containing levonorgestrel which is a hormone that is similar to the natural progesterone women produce in their ovaries. This pill should be taken within 3 days (72 hours) of having unprotected sex although it is more effective if taken closer to the unprotected sex.

b) ElllaOne

This emergency contraceptive pill is a single tablet containing ulipristal which is a progestogen blocker. This pill should be taken within 5 days of unprotected sex. It is therefore usually given to women that come after 3 days, so too late for Levonelle, and who are not keen to have an emergency coil fitted.

Copper IUD

The emergency coil is sometimes referred to as the copper coil or IUD. It is a small plastic and copper device that is put into your womb. It can be fitted up to 5 days after unprotected sex and at any time during the menstrual cycle providing that this is the ONLY unprotected sex that has occurred since your last period.

If you have had unprotected sex more than once since your last period, then an IUD can be fitted up to 5 days after the earliest time you could have released an egg (ovulation).

The emergency copper IUD may be the most effective form of emergency contraception as it prevents up to 98% of expected pregnancies.

Where to get Emergency Contraception From

You can access advice and information about emergency contraception from our Contraception Service or from:

The following pharmacists in Sheffield provide free emergency contraception for young women aged 14-17 years. They can also provide free condoms to young people.

Lloyds Pharmacy, Duke Medical Centre, 26 Talbot Road, Park Hill, Sheffield, S2 2TD

Vantage Pharmacy, 2 Ridgeway Road, Manor Top, Sheffield, S12 2SS

Associated Chemists, 61-65 The Wicker, Sheffield, S3 8HT

Gilbert & Armstrong Chemist, 36 Queen Street, Mosborough, Sheffield, S20 5BQ

Well Pharmacy, 54b Holme Lane, Hillsborough, Sheffield, S6 4JQ

Lloyds Pharmacy, 9 Johnson Street, Stocksbridge, Sheffield, S36 1BX

Boots UK, 214 Fulwood Road, Fulwood, Sheffield, S10 3BB

Boots UK, 252 – 254 West Street, Sheffield, S1 4EU

Boots UK, 4-6 High Street, Sheffield, S1 1QF

Weldricks Pharmacy, 188 Crookesmoor Road, Crookesmoor, Sheffield, S10 1BE

Lloyds Pharmacy, 3 – 7 Alderson Road, Sheffield, S2 4UA

Charnock Pharmacy, Charnock Health Centre, White Lane, Sheffield, S12 3GH

Rowlands Pharmacy, 149 Burngreave Road, Burngreave, Sheffield, S3 9DL

Boots UK, 50 Manor Park Centre, Manor, Sheffield, S2 1WE

Boots UK, Unit C, Crystal Peaks Retail Park, Drake House Way, Sheffield, S20 7JL

Lloyds Pharmacy, Unit 39, Crystal Peaks West Mall, Sheffield, S20 7PN

Lloyds Pharmacy, Unit 4, Westfield Centre, Westfield, Sheffield, S20 8ND

Abbeydale Pharmacy, 715-717 Abbeydale Road, Sheffield, S7 2BE

Lloyds Pharmacy, Porterbrook Medical Centre, 7 Sunderland Street, Sheffield, S11 8HN

Morrisons Pharmacy, 1 Oxclose Park Road North, Halfway, Sheffield, S20 8GN

Rowlands Pharmacy, 827 Barnsley Road, Sheffield, S5 0QF

Well Pharmacy, 517a Manchester Road, Stocksbridge, Sheffield, S36 1DH

Boots Pharmacy, 44a High Street, Meadowhall, Sheffield, S9 1EN

Boots Pharmacy, 66 The Moor, Sheffield, S1 4PA

Day Lewis, 150 Crookes, Crookes, Sheffield, S10 1UH

Day Lewis Ltd, 298 Glossop Road, Sheffield, S10 2HS

Gleadless Valley Pharmacy Limited, 153 Blackstock Road, Gleadless, Sheffield, S14 1FX

Oakbrook Pharmacy (Greencross), 237 Oakbrook Road, Sheffield, S11 7EB

Swift Pharmacy Burngreave, 1 Gower Street, Sheffield, S4 7HA

Weldricks (Sothall)Pharmacy, 26 Eckington Road, Sothall, Sheffield, S20 1HQ

Well Pharmacy, Richmond Rd, Richmond, Sheffield, S13 8LU