Did you have a problem with your regular contraceptive method? Did you forget to use protection? Don’t panic! You can take the morning after pill, also known as an oral Emergency Contraceptive Pill (ECP).
What is it?
The morning after pill or emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) isn’t a regular contraceptive. It is used after unprotected sex or if you have had a problem with your regular contraceptive method, like if a condom tears or if you forgot to take your pill.
The morning after pill is free with your provincial health insurance card if you’re under 18 years old, or if you’re a full-time student under the age of 25. You can get it at CLSCs, from your pharmacist without a prescription, your school nurse, from your doctor, or at the hospital emergency room.
How does it work?
- You can take it up to 5 days (120 hours) after having unprotected sex, but the sooner you take the morning after pill, the more effective it is. Ideally, it should be taken within 24 hours of having unprotected sex to maximise its effectiveness. If you miss the 5-day window, consult your pharmacist or doctor quickly to discuss your options.
- Oral emergency contraception cannot interrupt a pregnancy that has already started or prevent conception later in your cycle.
- It doesn't protect you against sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs).
How do I use it?
The morning after pill is taken in a single dose as soon as possible, as prescribed by your doctor or pharmacist.
You might feel embarrassed to ask your pharmacist for the morning after pill. Don't worry! Pharmacists are used to this, and their aim is to help and reassure you. If your period is late, see your doctor or a nurse. Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.