Emergency contraception is not a method of contraception as such, but it is meant for situations where actual contraception has failed.
An example case could be that contraceptive pills were forgotten or the use of a condom failed / was forgotten. Emergency contraception can be done in two different ways, either with an emergency contraceptive pill (‘morning-after pill’) or with a copper coil (an intrauterine device).
The emergency contraceptive pill is meant for temporary use
The pill, which contains progesterone, should be taken as soon as possible after sexual intercourse. The emergency contraceptive pill prevents or postpones the release of an egg. It does not terminate a pregnancy that has already started.
A person who is 15 years old or older can get their emergency contraceptive pills from a pharmacy without a prescription. Under 15-year-olds can contact, for example, a health centre or the Contraceptive Clinic. The later the emergency contraceptive pill is taken the less reliable its effect is. Emergency contraceptive pills can cause side effects such as headache and nausea. They can also mix up the menstrual cycle.