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Emergency contraception works by preventing an egg from being fertilised by a sperm by delaying the release of the egg in the hope to prevent pregnancy.

Emergency contraception is most effective the sooner it is taken after unprotected sex or failure of your regular contraceptive method, such as missed pills or split condoms.

There are two main methods, the copper coil and the emergency pill of which there are two types, Ulipristal acetate and Levonorgestrel.

Copper IUD

The copper IUD is 10 times more effective at preventing pregnancy than emergency pills. It is the most effective method of emergency contraception and will work even after you have most likely already ovulated, i.e. more than halfway through a regular cycle. It can be fitted up to 5 days after unprotected sex or 5 days after the earliest possible time of ovulation. The IUD is effective immediately and it can be kept in as a hormone free method of contraception for up to 10 years if you would like, or we can remove the coil after we know you are not pregnant. 

Levonorgestrel (also known as Levonelle)

Levonelle needs to be taken within 72 hours (3 days) of unprotected sex and works by delaying the release of an egg. It only prevents pregnancy for that one episode of UPSI and you are not protected after this. 

Ulipristal acetate (also known as (ellaOne)

ellaOne has to be taken within 120 hours (5 days) of unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. It stops or delays the release of an egg. If you are on the contraceptive, it will also stop this from working properly. You must wait 5 days before taking your pill again and then another 7 days before you can rely on your oral contraceptive so 12 days of condom use are required. After taking ellaOne, if you do not wait 5 days before restarting your contraceptive pill, you will be at risk of pregnancy.


If you aren’t able to get to us within our opening hours please use the links below for a list of pharmacies that supply FREE emergency oral contraception for Rotherham residents. Please ring the pharmacy before you go, to make sure a trained member of staff is working.

  • Abbey Pharmacy, 19-21 Howard Street, Rotherham, S65 1JQ
  • Cohens Chemist, 10B Station Road, Treeton, Rotherham, S60 5PN
  • Well Pharmacy, Park Lane, Thrybergh
  • Well Pharmacy, Sough Hall Avenue, Thorpe Hesley
  • Well Pharmacy, Poplar Glade, Wickersley
  • Well Pharmacy, Bawtry Road, Wickersley
  • Well Pharmacy, Hollings Lane, Ravenfield
  • J McGill Pharmacy, 63-67 Knoolbeck Lane, Brampton Bierlow
  • J McGill Pharmacy, 125 Wath Road, Mexborough, S64 9RB
  • Superdrug Pharmacy, 12 Howard Street, Rotherham, S60 1QN
  • Day Lewis Pharmacy, 52-52A Claypit Lane, Rawmarsh, S62 5HD
  • Weldricks, 27 Brinsworth Lane, Rotherham
  • Weldricks, 26 Main Street, Catcliffe, S60 5SR
  • Weldricks, 94A High Street, Maltby, S66 7BN
  • Weldricks, 1A-3A Church Street, Swinton, Mexborough, S64 8QA
  • Weldricks, Maltby Leisure & Services Centre, Braithwell Road, Maltby, S66 8JE
  • Weldricks, 3 Laburnum Parade, Maltby, S66 8DP
  • Weldricks, 31-33 High Street, Swallownest, Sheffield, S26 4TT
  • Weldricks, 17 Crown Street, Swinton, S64 8NB
  • Dinnington Pharmacy, New Street, Dinnington, Sheffield, S65 2EZ
  • Lloyds Pharmacy, 65 Green Arbour Road, Thurcroft, S66 9DD

The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust
Rotherham Hospital
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