Emergency Contraception

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WHAT IS EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION?

Emergency contraception is an extremely effective and safe way of preventing an unplanned pregnancy. It reduces the risk of pregnancy to 1-2% Emergency contraception should be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sexual intercourse, where there is a risk of unintentionally falling pregnant. This might occur due to a broken condom, forgotten pills, using withdrawal (pulling out) or getting caught up in the heat of the moment.

IMPORTANT:
Emergency contraception must be taken within 120 hours of having unprotected sexual intercourse. However it is most effective if taken within 72 hours and ideally within the first 24hrs of having unprotected intercourse.

(Do not take Postinor-1 if you know you are pregnant, have vaginal bleeding for which the reason is unknown or have breast cancer)

HOW DO I TAKE IT?

Take Postinor-1 (1.5 mg) tablet as a single dose.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Emergency contraception works by preventing or delaying ovulation. It may also stop a fertilized egg from implanting (sticking) onto the wall of the uterus.

SOME SIDE EFFECTS YOU MAY EXPERIENCE:
  • Gastric upset 
  • Vaginal bleeding or ‘spotting’ 
  • Breast tenderness

If the combined contraceptive pill is started immediately following emergency contraception, your next period may be delayed. If your next period is late or is in anyway different than usual, it is important to have a pregnancy test after taking emergency contraception, as you may be pregnant. When you have your pregnancy test, you could also request a sexually transmitted infection checkup and take the opportunity to discuss contraceptive options with the doctor or nurse.

HOW TO ACCESS IT:

Postinor-1 is available through most local pharmacies. No prescription is required, however the pharmacist may ask you some health related questions prior to dispensing the medication. It is also available at Family Planning Clinics, hospital emergency departments and some doctors provide emergency contraception directly.

For more information 
Call Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
9341 6200 or 1800 032 017

Ask for the information and results line if you have any questions and/or concerns about Emergency Contraception.

DISCLAIMER:
This fact sheet is designed to provide you with information on Emergency Contraception.It is not intended to replace the need for a consultation with your doctor. All clients are strongly advised to check with their doctor about any specific questions or concerns they may have. Every effort has been taken to ensure that the information in this pamphlet is correct at the time of printing.
Last Updated March 2015