About Emergency Contraception (Levonelle One Step)
It's a fact of life that accidents happen with contraception. Perhaps you have forgotten to get your next injection? Maybe you have been sick and you're wondering if the Pill will still work? Possibly you were using a condom and something went wrong?
If you’ve had unprotected sex or you're worried about having had a contraception mishap, this part of the site will tell you everything you need to know about Levonelle® One Step, (a morning after pill or emergency contraceptive pill) including how soon you need to take it and what happens when you ask for it at the pharmacy.
If you think you may need emergency contraception it's important to act quickly - within hours rather than days.
Levonelle® One Step has been available since 2004 and is the only morning after pill available to buy from most pharmacists. Levonelle® One Step can be taken up to 3 days (72 hours) after unprotected sexual intercourse or a contraception mishap.
There are also alternative emergency contraceptives available from your doctor.
What is Levonelle® One Step?
Levonelle® One Step is also known as 'the morning after pill' but you can take it up to 3 days (72 hours) after a contraception mishap to prevent pregnancy. There is 1 round white tablet in the pack. It contains a hormone called levonorgestrel...
The earlier you take Levonelle® One Step the more likely it is to work, so it's important to act quickly, in hours rather than days.
If you are over 16, you can buy Levonelle® One Step over the counter at most pharmacies throughout the UK. The pharmacist will ask you a few questions first to make sure it's suitable for you. You can answer the questions here and print out the form to hand to the pharmacist if you prefer.
If you are under sixteen, you cannot buy Levonelle® One Step at the pharmacy and need to see a healthcare professional or go to a family planning clinic or Walk-In Centre.
How does Levonelle® One Step Work?
Levonelle® One Step is thought to work in different ways depending on where you are in your cycle. For example:
- It may stop an egg being released from the ovary (i.e. prevents ovulation)
- It may prevent sperm from fertilising any egg that may already have been released
- It may stop a fertilised egg from attaching itself to the lining of the womb
Levonelle® One step works to prevent a pregnancy becoming established but it will not work if you are already pregnant. The sooner you take Levonelle® One Step the more likely it is to be effective.
Emergency contraceptive pills are not meant to be used as a regular method of contraception. If you're sexually active, whether you have sex occasionally or frequently, you need to choose a regular long-term method of contraception that suits you. You should discuss long-term options with a healthcare professional.
What Happens At the Pharmacy?
If you want to be sure that your pharmacy stocks Levonelle® One Step emergency contraception you can phone first. Just ask for Levonelle® One Step.
When you get to the counter, the pharmacist has to ask you a few questions to make sure that Levonelle® One Step is suitable for you. You can answer the questions here and print out the form to hand to the pharmacist if you prefer. This gives you more privacy, and saves time, too.
All pharmacists are very knowledgeable about emergency contraception and should treat your request sympathetically and confidentially.
If the pharmacist feels that Levonelle® One Step may not be suitable for you, he or she will advise you to see your healthcare professional or family planning clinic who will tell you what to do next.