Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, contraceptive accidents happen. Although convenient, barrier contraceptives and oral daily contraceptives aren’t always as effective as you need them to be. In these circumstances, a reliable and proven method such as the morning-after pill may be necessary to prevent pregnancy.
We currently have two emergency contraceptives available on HealthExpress.eu, namely Levonelle and ellaOne, both proven to effectively prevent pregnancy. To make sure that these medications are safe for you to take, we ask you to complete a confidential online consultation first.
What is the morning-after pill?
The morning-after pill is a type of emergency contraception that can be taken after you’ve had unprotected sex or if your usual contraceptive method has let you down. Depending on the type of morning-after pill you take, it can be effective for up to 72 hours or 120 hours afterwards. However, the sooner you take it, the higher the chance that it will be effective. Ideally you should take a morning-after pill within 12 hours to provide you with the best chance to avoid falling pregnant.
The most widely prescribed morning-after pill in Europe is Levonelle One Step, which can also be referred to as the post-coital pill (PCP) or emergency contraceptive. ellaOne is one of the newer versions of the morning-after pill, which can be taken up to five days after contraceptive failure.
How effective is this emergency contraception?
The sooner you take the morning-after pill after sex, the more effective it will be. Levonelle prevents up to 95% of pregnancies if taken within 24 hours after unprotected sex. This rate goes down to 85% between 25 and 48 hours afterwards, and 58% on day three.
ellaOne can prevent up to 98% of pregnancies if taken within five days of unprotected intercourse. This means that out of every 100 women that would usually fall pregnant, only two will fall pregnant after taking ellaOne within the prescribed time.
Who can take the morning-after pill?
Levonelle and ellaOne are available to women over the age of 18, who experienced contraceptive failure or have had unprotected sex. The morning-after pill should only be used to prevent pregnancy and should never be used if you are already pregnant. Emergency contraceptives like the morning-after pill should also only be used once during a menstrual cycle, so after taking it, you should carry on using your regular contraceptive as usual as well as a barrier contraceptive until your next period to be absolutely safe.
How does a morning-after pill work?
Both Levonelle and ellaOne contains an artificial version of the female sex hormone progestogen, which prevents ovulation. It prevents an egg from getting released for fertilisation. However, if an egg has already been released, depending on which point you are in your cycle, then the progestogen also works by preventing the egg from planting itself in the womb lining to grow. It does this by not allowing the womb lining to thicken.
Are there any side effects?
Today, emergency contraceptives very rarely cause side effects, although a small number of women may be more sensitive to the active ingredients. The most common side effects are physical sickness, headaches, dizziness and irregular periods, all of which usually pass pretty quickly. According to clinical research, only one in 60 women will become physically sick after taking the morning-after pill.
Are there any other precautions?
After taking the morning-after pill, most women tend to experience their next period a little earlier or later than usual. However, if your period doesn’t occur within a week after your expected date, then it’s best to speak to your doctor. You shouldn’t breastfeed within 36 hours of taking the morning-after pill and if you experience abdominal pain or abdominal bleeding within a couple of weeks of taking the pill you should also speak to your doctor straight away. Ordering emergency contraception online
Morning-after pills should only be ordered from HealthExpress.eu as a precautionary treatment, to keep in case you need it. To make sure that you can safely take emergency contraception, you can take an online consultation. The consultation is free and confidential and will be checked by one of our doctors, who will make sure that you can safely take either Levonelle or ellaOne based on your medical history and current health. If your consultation is approved, you will be notified with a recommendation for treatment.