If you’ve had unprotected sex (sex without a condom) or your method failed (missed pill or a split condom) you may be able to prevent pregnancy by using emergency contraception within the first five days.
The sooner you access emergency contraception, the more effective it will be.
If you have had unprotected sex or your method failed, you also need to consider STIs.
There are two types of emergency contraception: the emergency hormonal contraception (sometimes called the morning after pill or emergency contraceptive pill) and the IUD (intrauterine device - also known as the coil).
Which method you use depends on your preference and the risk of falling pregnant.
Your pregnancy risk depends upon where you are in your menstrual cycle and you work this out yourself using a simple calculator.
Emergency contraception is most effective if you take it as early as possible.
If you visit a clinic, the nurse or doctor you see will help you assess the best type of emergency contraception for you.
It will depend on your preference and the risk of falling pregnant. You can assess your risk of falling pregnant now by using a simple calculator. Make sure you send the result to yourself by text or email so that you can discuss the results with the healthcare professional at the clinic.
The options are:
Our staff will always discuss and offer an ongoing method of contraception as well as tests for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Emergency contraception is provided by all our clinics and is free for all ages. It is also available for free at most GP surgeries, NHS walk-in centres and minor injuries units.
You can also access emergency hormonal contraception from a number of pharmacies across Cornwall:
All contraception and sexual health services are confidential, including for people under the age of 16.
Health professionals work to strict guidelines and won’t tell anyone else about your visit unless they believe you’re at serious risk of immediate harm.
If you’ve had vaginal sex without a condom or if your method fails, then there is a risk you could be pregnant. If this happened within the last five days, you can usually prevent pregnancy by using emergency contraception if you act fast.
If it happened more than 5 days ago then you will need to do a pregnancy test. This usually involves testing your wee for the pregnancy hormone HCG.
To get an accurate result you need to test three weeks (or 21 days) after unprotected sex or immediately after when your period should have been due (whichever is sooner). If you test before this, there maybe not be enough HCG to show up in your urine.
Our services can help you with the support and advice you need and provide pregnancy tests.
If you are pregnant and it is not planned, there are three options and you have the right to choose any one of them:
For some people, making this decision is easy and for others, it might be very difficult, but it is yours to make.
We can support you with whatever you need. We are here to listen, answer any questions and give you lots of information and support to help with a decision that feels right for you.
If you decide that ending the pregnancy is the right choice for you, we can refer you for a termination of pregnancy (abortion).
Alternatively, you can self-refer directly to the Cornwall Abortion Service by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org