Emergency contraception

    • Brief

    • If you have unprotected sex, you run the risk of getting pregnant when you did not intend to.

    • Emergency situation

    • You run a risk if you had sexual intercourse in your fertile period and did not use contraception or if something went wrong with the contraception.

      What should you do?

      If you want to become pregnant: do not do anything.

      If you do not want to become pregnant, you have two options:

      1.         Take the emergency contraceptive pill.

      2.         Have a copper IUD fitted by a healthcare provider.

    • The emergency contraceptive pill

    • Depending on the brand that you choose, the emergency contraceptive pill consists of 1 or 2 pills. The emergency contraceptive pill is also called the “morning-after pill”.

      The emergency contraceptive pill reduces the risk of pregnancy after unprotected sex. The emergency contraceptive pill interrupts or delays ovulation. You can still get pregnant if you have already ovulated. Take the emergency contraceptive pill as soon as possible after sex. The sooner you take it, the higher the chance of not getting pregnant.

      There are two kinds of emergency contraceptive pills:

      • The emergency contraceptive pill that you can take up to 3 days after unprotected sex. There are various brands. Take the pill as soon as possible. Preferably within 24 hours after unprotected sex.
      • The EllaOne emergency contraceptive pill. You can take this pill up to five days after you've had sex.

      The emergency contraceptive pill is not an abortion. The emergency contraceptive pill interrupts or delays ovulation. An abortion terminates an actual pregnancy.

      The emergency contraceptive pill can be obtained at a pharmacy without a prescription.

    • Contraception

    • If you had unprotected sex after taking the emergency contraceptive pill, you might become pregnant. Use a condom until your next menstrual period. You should also use a condom if you have started using a different form of contraception.

      Wait for five days after taking the EllaOne emergency contraceptive pill before you start to use the contraceptive pill, vaginal ring or a contraceptive patch. EllaOne does not work correctly with these methods of contraception.

      This means the emergency contraceptive pill is less reliable than other methods of contraception. If you need to take the emergency contraceptive pill frequently, consider whether another contraception would be more suitable for you.

    • Copper IUD

    • You can also go to your doctor for a copper IUD. The copper IUD prevents the implantation of a fertilised egg cell. This is a normal method of contraception that also works in emergencies. In this way, you are protected against pregnancy for at least five years.

    • Knowing whether you have an STI

    • When you have unprotected sex, you run the risk of getting an STI. STIs often have no apparent symptoms. Get yourself tested if you think you may have an STI.

    • Where can I buy emergency contraceptives?

    • Emergency contraceptive pills are available without prescriptions in pharmacies and hospitals in Nigeria. They cost N500 or more depending on the brand.