Morning After Pill

What is the morning after pill?

The morning after pill, otherwise known as the emergency contraceptive pill, is a medicine that can be taken up to 120-hours after unprotected sex to prevent unwanted pregnancy. It is available in all Brennans pharmacies without a prescription to women over 17 years, provided they are suitable for supply.

There are a few reasons why the morning after pill may not be suitable for you, some of these reasons include;

  • If you have had unprotected sex more than 120-hours (five days) ago
  • If you are allergic to any of the ingredients in the medication
  • If you have certain medical conditions or are taking certain medications
  • If your previous period was irregular in some way

If any of the above statements apply to you there may be other alternative methods of emergency contraception that are more suitable. Your Brennans pharmacist is here for you to provide more information and to help to decide which would be the best way forward in this case.

The morning after pill can be taken up to 120-hours (five days) after unprotected sex, however it is best to take it as soon as you can as it is more effective when taken as close to the unprotected sex as possible.

How does the morning after pill work?

The morning after pill works in a number of ways to prevent pregnancy. It can stop an egg being released from the ovaries, meaning that there will be no egg to be fertilised by the male sperm. Or if ovulation has already occurred and the egg has been fertilised by the sperm, it can stop a fertilised egg from implanting into the lining of the womb and so prevent any further development.

The morning after pill can be taken up to 120-hours (five days) after unprotected sex, however it is best to take it as soon as you can as it is more effective when taken as close to the unprotected sex as possible.

The morning after pill can not prevent against sexually transmitted infections, if you think you may be at risk of having a sexually transmitted infection consult your Brennans pharmacist for further information.

What happens when I come into a Brennans pharmacy for the morning after pill?

All of our Brennans pharmacists have been trained to supply the morning after pill. Each request for the morning after pill will be dealt with discretion and is totally confidential. A prescription is not needed to get the morning after pill and all that is needed from you is to answer a few simple questions in a private consultation with the pharmacist. These questions are to ensure that the morning after pill is the most suitable emergency contraception for you.

Since July 2017, all medical card holders are entitled to get the morning after pill free of charge, otherwise a charge will be applied.

Side effects of emergency contraception

Not everyone is affected by side effects after taking the morning after pill, however it is useful to keep in mind a few of the most common ones. These include:

  • Nausea (feeling sick)
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Breast tenderness
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting

If you experience vomiting or diarrhoea within a few hours of taking the morning after pill it is important to let your pharmacist know as soon as possible as you may require another dose.

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