About Levonorgestrel (Levonelle)
The morning after pill, levonorgestrel, should be taken within 72 hours (3 days) of unprotected sex.
Levonorgestrel is a synthetic hormone and the active ingredient in this form of emergency contraception. It works in two ways to prevent pregnancy: either by preventing the ovaries from ovulating or by preventing sperm from fertilizing an egg that has already been released.
The earlier Levonorgestrel is administered after unprotected sex, the more effective it will be. It should be taken within 72 hours (3 days), but it is thought that taking it within 24 hours will prevent 95% of pregnancies, 48 hours will prevent 85% of pregnancies, and 72 hours will prevent 58 percent of pregnancies.
If you get sick within three hours of taking the first tablet, you’ll need to take another Levonorgestrel.
If you have unprotected sex again after taking Levonorgestrel, it will not prevent further pregnancies. Use condoms or your regular contraception between taking the tablet and your next period.
1.5 milligrams of Levonorgestrel is the usual dose. However, some women may require a double dose (3mg Levonorgestrel) to achieve the desired results. This could be due to your weight (if you weigh more than 70 kilograms) or the medications you’re taking.
When taking Levonorgestrel, like most medications, some people may experience side effects. Nausea, stomach pain, and headaches are the most common side effects of this type of emergency contraception.
If your period is late after taking Levonorgestrel and you have the symptoms listed above, you should get a pregnancy test.
See the patient information leaflet for a complete list of side effects and how to use it correctly. If you have any concerns about side effects, please contact us through your Patient Record.
It’s critical that you tell us about any other medications or recreational drugs you’re taking so that Levonorgestrel can be safely prescribed. Most medications can be taken with levonorgestrel, but some medications may interact with it.
You can take the morning after pill more than once during a menstrual cycle if necessary. Regardless, the morning after pill should not be used as a primary method of contraception.
Taking the morning after pill can cause your period to be earlier, later, or even heavier. It has no effect on your menstrual cycle. You should get a pregnancy test if your period is more than 7 days late.
Even when taken on a regular basis, the morning after pill should have no effect on fertility.
Levonorgestrel is a type of emergency contraception that can be used after unprotected sex, but it is not a form of sexually transmitted infection protection. If you have unprotected sex, you may be at risk of contracting a STI, so come to our STI test clinic for more information and at-home test kits.
Fill out our emergency contraception consultation and you could be approved for a Levonorgestrel prescription, which could be available for same-day pickup in one of our LloydsPharmacy locations.
Levonorgestrel should not be taken after unprotected sex for more than three days.
Take a pregnancy test if you’ve been taking Levonorgestrel and you’re having unusual bleeding or your period is more than five days late.
You should not take Levonorgestrel if it has been more than 72 hours since you had unprotected sex, and there are other emergency contraception options to consider.