If your regular contraception has failed or you have had unprotected sexyou might be worried about being pregnant. If you need emergency contraception, also known as the morning after pill, we are here to help 

In most cases, you don’t need to visit your doctor to get the morning after pill as it is available from LloydsPharmacy stores including many that are open late or on a Sunday. 

Many stores also operate a local NHS scheme which means the morning after pill is available for free to 16 – 25 year olds. You can find your nearest store by using our store locator. As well as the morning after pill, our expert Pharmacists are also on hand to offer confidential sexual health advice.

Frequently asked questions:

Is it suitable?

16 and over: Our Pharmacists will be able to offer you the morning after pill if it is suitable for you.  

Under 16: Our Pharmacists may still be able to offer you the morning after pill under an NHS scheme, or they can help you to find your local family planning clinic to find out about other options. 

The morning after pill will not be suitable if: 

  • You’re already pregnant 
  • You had unprotected sex more than 5 days (120 hours) ago 
  • You’re allergic to any of the ingredients (the pharmacist can help you with this) 
  • You have a sugar intolerance 
  • You have already had the morning after pill during this month’s menstrual cycle (speak to your doctor, family planning clinic or Brook Advisory Centre 

You must tell the pharmacist or your doctor if you fall into ANY of the below categories before you take the morning after pill: 

  • You’ve previously had an ectopic pregnancy 
  • You live with a digestive order, such as Crohn’s disease 
  • If you are taking any other medication, especially: Barbiturates, Primidone, Phenytoin, Carbemazepine (used predominantly to treat epilepsy), Ciclosporin, Griseofulvin (for fungal infections), herbal remedies containing St John’s Wort, Rifampicin or Rifabutin (usually for tuberculosis), Ritonavir (for HIV infection) 
  • If you’re breast feeding 
  • If you’re unsure if the morning after pill is suitable for you
How effective is the morning after pill?

The morning after pill is not 100% effective, but there is a greater chance of preventing a pregnancy if it is taken within 12 hours of unprotected sex. 

The morning after pill will not stop a pregnancy if you are already pregnant 

How do I take the morning after pill?

Always read the patient information leaflet that comes with the tablet 

Take the tablet as soon as possible after unprotected sex – ideally within 12 hours and before 72 hours has past.

Swallow the tablet whole, with water. 

If you are sick within three hours you will need to take another tablet. Consult your Pharmacist or doctor for more advice and to obtain another tablet. 

How does the morning after pill work?

Morning after pills work mainly by stopping or delaying the body from releasing an egg (ovulation). In the case of levonorgestrel (ingredient in Levonelle), it may also affect the lining of the womb, preventing a fertilised egg from implanting itself. 

What are the side affects?

Some people may experience the following: 

  • Dizziness and feeling overly tired 
  • Feeling sick, vomiting, lower stomach pain or diarrhoea 
  • Headache 
  • Unexpected bleeding not related to your monthly cycle 
  • Tender breasts 

If you experience any difficulty in breathing or swelling of the face, neck, tongue or throat, seek medical attention immediately. 

The morning after pill may disturb your normal period cycle: you may start earlier or later than usual. If your next period is more than five days late, or is unusually light or heavy, or there is any other reason you might suspect you are pregnant, you should take a pregnancy test and talk to your doctor as soon as possible. 

Find your local LloydsPharmacy here.