If you’ve had vaginal sex without using a condom, or your contraceptive method failed (i.e. you missed a pill or a condom split) you may be able to prevent pregnancy by using emergency contraception within the first five days.
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 non-hormonal coil). The method you use depends on your preference and the risk of falling pregnant.
Emergency contraception is most effective if you take it as early as possible.
If you have had unprotected sex or your method failed, you also need to consider STIs. Find out more about STI testing.
Emergency contraception is provided by Brook Cornwall and is free for all ages.
If you are 16 or over, you can order emergency hormonal contraception (the "morning after pill") online from SH:24 and receive it directly to your home or another location of your choice.
If you are under 16, want to discuss your options for emergency contraception or think the IUD is your best option, please contact Brook Cornwall as soon as possible on 0300 30 30 714 .
Our service is confidential and non-judgmental. Our friendly staff will help you decide on the best option for you.
When you access emergency contraception from Brook Cornwall, our staff will always discuss and offer an ongoing method of contraception as well as tests for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Emergency contraception 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 and the Isles of Scilly:
Emergency contraception is most effective if you take it as early as possible, and the method you use will depend on your preference and the risk of falling pregnant.
Your pregnancy risk depends upon where you are in your menstrual cycle. You can work out your risk of pregnancy using this 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.
You can use a simple calculator to assess your risk of falling pregnant. Make sure you send the result to yourself by text or email so that you can discuss the results with a healthcare professional.
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.
The options are:
Our staff will always discuss and offer an ongoing method of contraception as well as tests for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
All contraception and sexual health services are confidential for everyone, including people under the age of 16. This includes access to emergency contraception.
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.
To find out more about confidentiality, you can contact Brook Cornwall.
If more than five days have passed since unprotected sex, and you think you might be pregnant, you can contact Brook Cornwall for help and advice.
It is possible that the IUD might still work for you - this will depend on when in your cycle unprotected sex occurred and is something our team can discuss with you.
We can also help you with doing a pregnancy test and thinking through your choices if you find out you are pregnant.
If you find out you are pregnant and decide that you want to have an abortion, we can help you access abortion services.