Emergency Contraceptive Pill

Contraceptive failure or having unprotected sex can create a stressful situation. There is something you can do to protect yourself – the risk of pregnancy can be reduced by taking the emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) as soon as you can.

When getting to the doctor isn’t possible or practical, it’s good to know that an accredited ECP pharmacist is available for you to talk to and who can give you the ECP if appropriate. 

The ECP’s effectiveness

The emergency contraceptive pill will be most effective if you take it as soon as possible after unprotected sex. Taking the ECP within 24 hours is best, but it can prevent pregnancy if taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex.

The ECP has been shown to prevent:

  • 95% of expected pregnancies when taken within 24 hours of unprotected sex
  • 85% if taken within 25 - 48 hours
  • 58% if taken within 49 - 72 hours