What is emergency contraception?

Emergency contraception is taking steps after you have had unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. (If you wish to know more about everyday contraception options you can read our page on contraception).
The most common type of emergency contraception is the emergency contraceptive pill (morning after pill). When taken within 24 hours of unprotected sex the emergency contraceptive pill is 95% effective. If taken within 3-5 days of having unprotected sex the emergency contraceptive pill is 50% effective.

You can read about all options for emergency contraception, effectiveness and side effects here. 

    When can emergency contraception be used?


    • Contraception was not used
    • Contraception may have failed (missed pills, condom broke or came off etc.)
    • An unreliable method like the withdrawal method was used.

    Emergency contraception should not be used as a regular method of birth control. For ongoing contraceptive options see our contraception information.

    Where can I access emergency contraception?

    The emergency contraceptive pill can be purchased over the counter at pharmacies. It can also be obtained from Family Planning Tasmania clinics and other health clinics. If you are under 24 years old, you can contact Family Planning Tasmania or your local youth service to ask about financial assistance.

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