Morning after pill
Are you a woman who has had unprotected sex with a man? If you take the morning after pill, you won't get pregnant.
What is the morning after pill?
The morning after pill is emergency contraception that prevents pregnancy after semen has got into the vagina. Did you have sex without a condom? Or did the condom split? Take the morning after pill if this has happened and you haven't used any other contraception.
There are two morning after pills available in the Netherlands Norlevo and ellaOne.
When is the morning after pill still effective?
A morning after pill works best within 24 hours of unprotected sex. Norlevo works for up to 3 days/72 hours after unprotected sex. EllaOne works for up to 5 days/120 hours after unprotected sex. You can get both these pills at a pharmacy or chemist, without a prescription.
What is the emergency coil?
You can choose to have an emergency coil fitted, up to 5 days after having unprotected sex. This is also called the copper IUD. The coil works even better than the morning after pill. A doctor inserts it in your uterus. It can stay there for at least 5 years depending on the type of coil. Once you've had a coil fitted, you are protected from unwanted pregnancy for all of that time.
Do you take any medicines?
Do you take pills for HIV, epilepsy or tuberculosis? Do you use remedies containing St John's Wort? If you've taken any of these in the last 4 weeks, the morning after pill will be less effective. Then it's safer to have an emergency coil fitted. This reduces the chance of an unplanned pregnancy.
Where do you buy the morning after pill?
You can buy the morning after pill in a pharmacy or chemist. You don't need a prescription from your doctor. Norlevo costs around €15. EllaOne costs around €20. Here are addresses of pharmacies and chemists in the Netherlands that sell the morning after pill.
Need one in the evening or on Sunday?
Most pharmacies and chemists are not open in the evening or on Sunday. So look on the website, or the door, of your pharmacy for one that is open in your neighbourhood. There are chemists open in the evening or on Sunday at major train stations.
Too late for the morning after pill?
Was the unprotected sex more than 5 days ago?
Then it's too late for the morning after pill or emergency coil. You have to wait and see if you are pregnant. Read here how you find out if you're pregnant.
- Are you not pregnant? That's a relief. Use contraception whenever you have sex. Choose a method that suits you. More about contraception.
- Are you pregnant? Then you have to make a choice: keep the baby, have the baby adopted or have an abortion. Read how to decide what to do when your pregnancy is unplanned.
Do you want extra advice about the morning after pill?
Get yourself tested for STIs when you're at your doctor’s practice or the Sense clinic. If you need the morning after pill, you probably have risked contracting an STI too.