How effective is emergency contraception?



If a couple is having regular sex for one year then there is a 90% chance that they will become pregnant.

If they are using an effective contraceptive method (the pill taken consistently and correctly, the coil, the implant etc…) then this chance is reduced to less than 1% (depending on the method).

If they use condoms consistently and correctly then they have a 2% risk of pregnancy - although this rises to 18% with typical use.

If they are using emergency contraception (levonorgestrel) every time they have sex for a year then there is a 20% chance that they will become pregnant.

Why is this important?

A lot of stuff in the news right now on emergency contraception - ordering it online, getting it delivered to your door.

People worry that taking emergency contraception is dangerous - it is not - no deaths or serious medical consequences have been linked to taking emergency contraceptive pills.

The main concern is that it is less effective than regular methods of contraception as I’ve outlined above.

But emergency contraception is definitely effective enough to provide a back up method of contraception when things go wrong (missed pills, burst condoms, forgot to put on a new patch)

Of course there is always the emergency coil which is close to 100% effective.

Many thanks