Emergency contraception can be used as a backup and is not intended as a primary contraceptive method. All people in a new relationship should use condoms to prevent STIs and also be advised about emergency contraception.

Emergency contraception pills can be used up to 96 hours after unprotected sex and can be obtained without a prescription at pharmacies. The copper IUD can also be used as emergency contraception and can be used up to 120 hours after unprotected sex. An IUD needs to be inserted by a doctor.

It is essential to have a follow-up check after 3 weeks to exclude a pregnancy and arrange ongoing contraception.

This method is used when:

  • no contraception was used during sex
  • a women has forgotten to take her contraceptive pills
  • a condom slipped off or broke during sex
  • a female has been sexually assaulted