- ellaOne is taken within 120 hours (5 days) of unprotected intercourse.
- Levonelle must be taken within 72 hours (3days) to prevent pregnancy.
Both pills should not be taken together.
Complete a short consultation before selecting your medication. All our consultations are approved by a UK Medical Doctor.
Summary of available medications
|Levonelle 1.5mg||1 to 2 tablets (1 or 2 single dose treatments)||From £12.50|
|ellaOne 30mg||1 to 2 tablets (1 or 2 single dose treatments)||From £23.95|
How does the morning after pill work?There are two brands of the morning after pill available; Levonelle and ellOne. Levonelle contains levonorgestrel, a synthetic version of the naturally occurring hormone in your body called progesterone. Levonelle tricks your body into thinking it has ovulated already so it does not release another egg. It also helps thicken the lining of the womb to make it more difficult for sperm to pass from the vagina. Levonelle comes as a single dose tablet and is not a substitute for a contraceptive pill. EllaOne contains the active ingredient Ulipristal Acetate and works in a similar manner to Levonelle.
How to take the pill?Both levonelle and ellaOne come as a single dose tablet and taken with a glass of water.
How can I tell if the pill worked?If your period arrives as expected then the pill has worked, although the period can be early or late. If your period is delayed for more than 7 days then speak to a doctor to check if you are pregnant.
How soon do I need to take the pill after sex?Levonelle can be taken up to 3 days (72 hours) after having unprotected sex and ellaOne can be taken until 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected sex. In either case, the sooner you take it the more effective the pill is likely to be.
Where can I get the morning after pill?If you find it embarrassing and awkward to speak to a GP or pharmacist face to face, you can order the morning after pill online using an online doctor and pharmacy service like DrFelix. The price online can be cheaper than buying it over the counter and with heavy regulation on the sale of prescription medicine online, you can get genuine medicine safely and quickly delivered to your door. If you are comfortable with a face to face consultation then you can also buy it from your local pharmacy or request your GP for it.
Can I get the morning after pill for free?You can get the pill or other emergency contraception like IUDs free from your regular doctor or a local GUM / sexual health clinic or family planning clinics.
Do I need an appointment to get the pill?If you are trying to get it from your GP then yes an appointment in advance is needed, for pharmacies there is no need for an appointment. If you would like to the pill for free then you will need to check with your local GUM clinic as they can have different protocols in different places. You can usually check on their website for drop in sessions also which run weekly at the same time, in case this might work out faster than getting an appointment.
Buying the morning after pill over the counterIf you are too busy to attend an appointment you can possibly purchase the morning after pill from a local stockists, but beware of the price as it can vary from place to place. For example:
- Local Chemist – £25-£30
- Online doctor / pharmacy like DrFelix sells Levonelle for £17.95 including prescription cost and home delivery
What are the benefits of the morning after pill?The morning after pill is the first emergency contraception option to avoid becoming pregnant, if you disregard the morning after pill then the only other option left is abortion. Abortion pill is a stronger dose and has more prominent side effects such as bleeding and stomach cramps, it usually also causes emotional distress to the woman as a result.
Is the morning after pill dangerous?No, there are many myths and scary stories about the morning after pill but as long as you are only using the pill for an emergency, it has no serious long term effects on your health.
Will the pill work if I vomit?Levonelle might not work if you were sick within 2 hours of taking it. Speak to your GP if this happens, if you are past the 72 hour window he may offer a second dose of ellaOne or suggest getting a coil fitted.
What contraceptive options are there?
For emergency cases, Levonelle and ellaOne are the two morning after pills available in the UK. Levonelle can be taken up to 72 hours after the incident and ellaOne can be taken up to 120 hours after having unprotected sex.
What if I had unprotected sex 2 or 3 days ago?
If you had unprotected sex more than 72 hours ago, you may opt for ellaOne. EllaOne can be taken up to 5 days after the incident and is very effective within the 5 day time-frame. You can also have a coil fitted (IUD) up to 5 days after sex, which also covers you for any other future incidents unless you have it removed.
|Levonelle 1500 – the traditional morning after pill||EllaOne 30mg – a newer morning after pill|
|How soon should I take the pill?||Only effective up to three days (72 hours) after unprotected sex but taken the sooner the better.||Effective up to five days (120 hours) after unprotected sex.|
|Will it stop me getting pregnant?||In most cases – yes. 10 out of 1,000 women will still get pregnant. The sooner you take it, the more likely it is to work.||In most cases – yes. Five out of 1,000 women will still get pregnant.|
|I’m busy today; does it matter if I take it tomorrow?||Yes. It is most effective taken as soon as possible. With each passing day, it becomes less effective.||Current evidence shows it stays very effective for five days. As it is a newer medicine, it is still being monitored.|
|I forgot some of my normal contraceptive pills this month; can I take them as normal?||Yes but you will need additional contraception for up to nine days, depending on the pill you take. Read the information leaflet that comes with your contraceptive pill to get the exact advice, as this will vary depending on which pill you take and when in your cycle you missed pills. Condoms will be needed for seven days for the normal combined pill, the patch and the ring, nine days for Qlaira and two days for the mini, or progesterone only pill.||Yes. But you will need additional contraception for up to 16 days, depending on the pill you take. Read the information leaflet that comes with your contraceptive pill to get the exact advice, as this will vary depending on which pill you take and when in your cycle you missed pills. Condoms will be needed for fourteen days for the normal combined pill, the patch and the ring. Sixteen days for Qlaira and nine days for the mini or progesterone only pill.|
|What are the side-effects?||Most commonly irregular bleeding, headache, nausea, dizziness and abdominal pain.|
|Can I take it more than once in one menstrual cycle?||Yes, as long as you haven’t taken EllaOne in the same cycle.||No, EllaOne can only be taken once in one cycle and not in the same cycle as Levonelle.|
|How quickly will I get my medicine?||We offer some standard and next day delivery options but for morning after pill, please contact our pharmacist straight after placing your order to discuss your requirements; we are able to prioritise emergency situations at the doctor’s discretions to suit your needs.
If our doctors have any follow-up questions we will not be able to dispatch your medicines until you respond via your online Patient Record or make contact via telephone.
Who can take the morning after pill?
The morning after pill is suitable for most women including women on oral contraception and breastfeeding. As long you restart your regular oral contraceptive pill within 12 hours and if breastfeeding then don’t do any feeds for 8 hours after taking the pill. If you suffer from a digestive problem and might not be able to absorb the pill for it to be effective, speak to your GP about having a coil fitted. Always read the patient information leaflet before taking any medicine for more detailed information.
What are the side effects of Levonelle and ellaOne?
Levonelle may cause you to feel slightly sick, a headache, stomach pain and dizziness. EllaOne can cause the same short term effects like Levonelle along with others such as mood changes, pain in your back and pelvis and period pain. There are no known long term side effects for ellaOne.
Can any medicine reduce the effectiveness of Levonelle?
Yes, if you are taking any medicine for acid reflux, tuberculosis, HIV or epilepsy then speak to your GP since some medicine used to treat these conditions can interact with levonelle.