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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. 

Do you need additional help? Book an online consultation with a GP now through Housecall.

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:

  • current contraception

  • 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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Unichem 218 Ponsonby Pharmacy

218 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, AUCKLAND 1011

(09) 376 1254

Unichem Alexandra Pharmacy

4-6 Centennial Avenue, Alexandra, OTAGO 9340

(03) 448 8871

Unichem Arrowtown Pharmacy

20 Buckingham Street, Arrowtown, OTAGO 9810

(03) 442 0975

Unichem Bairds Pharmacy

Unit 2, 3 Watford Street, Otara, AUCKLAND 2023

(09) 265 4920

Unichem Albany Mega Centre Pharmacy

11 Coliseum Drive, Albany, AUCKLAND 0632

(09) 415 0655

Unichem All Seasons Pharmacy

288 Te Atatu Road, Te Atatu South, AUCKLAND 0652

(09) 834 3067

Unichem Aviemore Pharmacy

5 Aviemore Drive, Highland Park, AUCKLAND 2143

(09) 535 4900

Unichem Bealey Ave Pharmacy

1/212 Bealey Ave, Christchurch, CANTERBURY 8013

(03) 365 1234

Unichem Alexandra Medical Pharmacy

93 Tarbert Street, Alexandra, OTAGO 9320

(03) 448 7211

Unichem Apollo Pharmacy

119 Apollo Drive, Albany, AUCKLAND 0632

(09) 476 9016

Unichem Awapuni Pharmacy

96 College Street, Awapuni, Palmerston North, MANAWATU-WANGANUI 4412

(06) 358 1970

Unichem Beerescourt Pharmacy

1365 Victoria Street, Beerescourt, Hamilton, WAIKATO 3240

(07) 838 2319

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