A woman over 16 years of age can use emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy after having unprotected sex, or if a method of contraception has failed.
The effectiveness of the emergency contraceptive pill decreases over time. If it is taken within 24 hours of having unprotected sex, it prevents 95% of pregnancies.
Most women can use the emergency contraceptive pill, including women who are breastfeeding and those who cannot usually use hormonal contraception (such as the combined pill or contraceptive patch).
The emergency contraceptive pill should not be used as a regular method of contraception.
For more information, see the HSE website on the emergency contraceptive pill.
Other Useful Links
- Health A-Z: emergency contraceptive pill
- Health A-Z: intrauterine device (IUD)