Levonorgestrel is also known as the morning after pill. You can take levonorgestrel to prevent pregnancy after having unprotected sex, or keep it for emergency use in future.

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Emergency contraception for immediate use

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Who can take levonorgestrel?

Levonorgestrel can be used for up to 72 hours after having unprotected sex.

It works by stopping an egg being released from your ovaries, so if this has already happened levonorgestrel will not work. Ovulation happens 14 days before your period starts. The only emergency contraception that works after ovulation is the copper IUD (coil). Speak to a doctor if you think you might need this.

Levonorgestrel might not work as well if you have a high body weight for your height, also known as a body mass index (BMI). Speak to a pharmacist or doctor about this, the most effective emergency contraception would be the copper IUD (coil).

You should not take levonorgestrel if you:

  • are pregnant or think you may be pregnant
  • are allergic to any of the ingredients in levonorgestrel tablets
  • are taking certain other medications

Check with a healthcare professional to find out if levonorgestrel is right for you. You can get levonorgestrel over the counter at your local Asda Pharmacy or you can order from Asda Online Pharmacy.

Levonorgestrel side effects

Levonorgestrel can cause side effects. You might experience:

Common side effects of levonorgestrel include:

  • nausea
  • irregular vaginal bleeding
  • abdominal pain
  • tiredness
  • headache

Uncommon side effects of levonorgestrel include:

  • vomiting
  • changes to your period
  • breast tenderness
  • diarrhoea
  • dizziness

Rare side effects of levonorgestrel include:

  • rash
  • urticaria
  • pruritus
  • pelvic pain
  • painful periods

You can read more about levonorgestrel’s side effects in your patient information leaflet that your tablet comes with. If you do get any side effects after taking levonorgestrel, please get in touch with your doctor straight away.

Medically reviewed by:
Dr Kathryn Basford

Dr Kathryn Basford is a qualified GP who works as a GP in London, as well as with ZAVA. She graduated from the University of Manchester and completed her GP training through Whipps Cross Hospital in London.

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Article created: 16 Sep 2021

Last reviewed: 16 Sep 2021

(Reviews are for ZAVA UK)

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You might need emergency contraception if you’ve recently had unprotected sex and want to reduce your risk of getting pregnant. Asda Online Doctor by ZAVA offers a morning after pill service, which includes a variety of options.

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