You have been given a progesterone-only emergency pill. This treatment must be given within 72 hours, but preferably within 12 hours, of unprotected sex. This is normally given while you are in the department, but if not, you are advised to take it as soon as possible.


Probably not, but some women feel sick. If you are actually sick within 2 hours of taking the tablet, contact the department or your family doctor for further advice. Extra tablets may need to be taken if this happens. You may also be prescribed anti-sickness tablets to lessen the chance of this side effect happening again.

Your normal period is likely to be on time, or early, and this will tell you that the tablets have worked. If your period is over a week late or you do not have a period within 3 weeks, or if the bleeding is very light or unusual, you should consider having a pregnancy test. Light bleeding is sometimes seen after taking the emergency pill. This is nothing to be concerned about. It is not a normal period. Usually, bleeding does not start until the normal period begins.

If you are going to have sex again before your period starts, you must use a barrier method, eg, condom or diaphragm.
The emergency tablets will not protect you for the rest of the month. It is important to choose a reliable method of contraception for regular use. Your family doctor or the Contraceptive and Sexual Health clinic can advise on this.

Continue to take the rest of the tablets in your present packet. Take further packets normally. Some women may experience light bleeding within a few days of the emergency treatment, this nothing to worry about.
You will need to use a barrier method of contraception, eg, condoms, as well as your pill, until you have taken 7 pills normally after the emergency contraception. If you are taking the combined pill, this may mean starting straight into your next packet without having your ‘week off’. You may well not have a period if you do this, but this does not matter.

The first pill should be taken on the first day of a normal period. If your bleeding is very light and you are not sure if it is a proper period, wait. Start the pill on the day the bleeding becomes normal. You will be protected straight away. If you start later than this, you will need to use condoms as well for 7 days.

Review: March 19