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Emergency Contraception Service

There are different emergency contraception choices for different situations, depending on when you had your last period and how long it has been since you had unprotected sex. Emergency contraception is more effective the sooner you take it after having unprotected sex. Remember, emergency contraception cannot protect against a sexually transmitted infection.

Ask our pharmacist for a private consultation or talk to a GP or Family Planning Clinic about the best option for you. Contact our pharmacy team for appointment and consultation, please call 066 712 1331 ext 2.

Information & FAQs

Types of emergency contraception: “The Morning After Pill”

It’s available without prescription once qualifying criteria are met including:

  • Woman presents in person for consultation and be 16years or over, within 72hrs of UPSI,
  • last menstrual period normal and that this is the first episode of UPSI in current cycle;
  • that no other emergency contraception has been taken in this cycle and not taking enzyme inducers or no relevant medical conditions or no allergy to emergency contraception/levonorgestrel.

NorLevo is a type of emergency contraception (also known as a morning-after pill). It is on average, between 52% and 85% effective in preventing pregnancy. The sooner you take it, the more effective it is. It’s best to take it within 12 hours of having unprotected sex, but it is effective up to 72hrs.

NorLevo contains a hormone called levonorgestrel. It works by preventing or delaying the release of an egg from the ovary.

What questions will the pharmacist ask me?

To make sure NorLevo is right for you, your pharmacist will ask you some questions about your health, your menstrual cycle and about the circumstances when you had unprotected sex.

Is NorLevo right for me?

NorLevo is suitable for most women.

However you should avoid taking it if:

  • You are allergic to levonorgestrel or any of NorLevo’s other ingredients
  • You might already be pregnant

If you are concerned about this, please ask your doctor, pharmacist or family planning clinic for advice. pharmacychchemists@gmail.com

It might also not be suitable if you have:

  • Any previous ectopic pregnancy or infection of the Fallopian tubes (salpingitis)
  • A risk factor of history of blood clotting (thrombosis) either yourself or in your family
  • Severe digestive disease like Crohn’s Disease, which can affect how your body absorbs medication
  • Severe liver disease
  • Norlevo is not recommended to be taken at the same time as products containing ulipristal acetate

Does it have any side effects?

Like all medications, NorLevo can cause side effects in some people. However, not everyone gets them and they’re usually only temporary. Some women may experience one or more of these symptoms while taking NorLevo:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Feeling sick (nausea)
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Breast tenderness
  • Delay of the next period
  • Vaginal bleeding between periods
  • Tiredness

There’s no evidence that the morning-after pill affects your long-term health, menstrual cycle or fertility in any way.

What about other options?

There are two other options available from a doctor - either can be started within 120 hours of unprotected intercourse. The copper coil is the most effective emergency contraceptive with an effectiveness rate of up to 99.9%.

For further information see www.thinkcontraception.ie

Please note: An EU-wide review was carried out to assess whether emergency contraceptives are less effective in overweight or obese women. It concluded that emergency contraceptives can continue to be taken, regardless of the woman’s bodyweight. However, in order to maximise the likelihood that they will work, it is important that they are taken as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse (Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, 2014)


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