Emergency Contraceptive Pill (ECP)
Contraceptive failure or having unprotected sex can be a stressful situation. Sometimes getting to the Doctor is not always possible. An accredited pharmacist is available for consultation. Refer to the list of pharmacies below offering this service.
Book your appointment at a time and place that's convenient for you. Many of our pharmacies are open seven days a week, including some evenings.
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What are emergency contraceptive pills?
Emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) are a type of birth control medication that can be taken after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. They work by delaying or preventing ovulation, the release of an egg from the ovary, and therefore preventing pregnancy.
Are ECP's effective?
The emergency contraceptive pill will be most effective if you take it as soon as possible after unprotected sex. Taking the ECP within 24 hours is best, but it can prevent pregnancy if taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex.
The ECP has been shown to prevent:
95% of expected pregnancies when taken within 24 hours of unprotected sex
85% if taken within 25 - 48 hours
58% if taken within 49 - 72 hours
It’s important to note that the ECP does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If you have any concerns speak with your Unichem Pharmacist, doctor or family planning clinic.
What can you expect in your appointment?
An accredited pharmacist will go through your current condition and may ask the following questions:
why you need emergency contraception
the period since you last had unprotected sex in hours
period information or irregularities
medical conditions such as unexplained vaginal bleeding or Crohn’s disease
ongoing medications, including prescribed, over-the-counter, from a supermarket or health food shop
health symptoms such as burning or pain when passing urine, lower abdominal pain, pain during or after sex, unusual vaginal discharge, irregular vaginal bleeding or spotting.
When to see a doctor?
You should make an appointment to see your doctor immediately if:
Your next period is unusually light or heavy, more than 5 days late or, if you’re taking oral contraceptives and there is no bleeding in the pill-free interval
If you have any lower abdominal pain
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