IUD as emergency contraception?


What is the difference between the pills and having an IUD for emergency contraception? How long after unprotected sex can you wait to have it fitted?

The IUD for emergency contraception - some clinical information

Hi @alemo, I’m not sure if I understand what you mean. I’ve never heard about using IUD as emergency contraception.

I’ve taken the morning after pill before but I had to take it within 2 days. But maybe I’m wrong.

Where did you hear about using IUD as emergency contraception?


I think that you can use the IUD (the copper one?) as emergency contraception, and i think you have a bit more time with that one, like another couple of days?


Oh I had no idea :astonished: thanks @hrmc1.

Practically speaking though, how quickly can you actually get an IUD fitted? Surely you have to make an appointment and then wait.

I’d be interested to know if anyone on here ever actually used this as emergency contraception?


I think some sexual health clinics have walk in services where you can have them fitted. However, I think not all clinicians are trained on how to put them in, so it might be best to call ahead to check with the clinic first. Also, you may end up waiting a bit longer if there are few people who can fit them. I’ve used this website before for finding a clinic near me -----> https://sxt.org.uk/


Hi @alemo. I have a friend who had copper coil for emergency contraception - i think she had it done in the GUM clinic?


Okay this is interesting.

I looked at the this sxt site you mentioned. It let’s me choose when I would like to visit the clinic for IUD fitting:

BUT then when I entered my postcode, I get this - no available appointments for the next five days :thinking: :


@hrmc1 Thanks! Do you know if you can get the one with hormones as well? @O.C maybe if you need the coil as emergency contraception you can just pop in in a clinic and they will do that??? :thinking:


Hmmm, possibly might have more luck with a walk in clinic?

Does anyone know if GP surgeries can do emergency coils? Like if you could call for an emergency appointment in the morning?


yep, I think that would be the best bet. I don’t actually need one but the post just got me thinking!


The IUD (non-hormonal coil) is the most effective form of emergency contraception. Ideally, if you go to a clinic and you are eligible to have the IUD fitted the clinician should make you aware that this is an option.

There are 2 types of pill you can take. They each have different pros and cons.
One pill you can take up to 5 days after unprotected sex but you can’t have hormonal contraception for 5 days after taking it.
The other you can take up to 72 hours after unprotected sex and is a better option if you want to start taking hormonal contraception straight away.

Neither pill is effective if you have already ovulated.

The IUD can be inserted within 5 days of ovulation (The clinician will help work out when this is based on your usual period pattern). It can also be used as ongoing contraception.

If you use sxt.org.uk to find a clinic near you that fits IUDs it is likely that they will set aside appointments each day for emergency fittings. GPs are able to train in fitting IUDs so it is worth enquiring there as well.

There are some scenarios where an IUD may not be suitable, for example if there is any risk you could already be pregnant. The clinician should take a sexual history and talk you through the options.

The quicker you act the better but the IUD does potentially give you more time.