However hard we try, sometimes accidents can happen. You can find out more here about what to do if something goes wrong with your contraception.
If you can’t find the answer here, you can get in touch with staff at Ilash, your GP, or Family planning clinics.
Help!I used a condom, but it broke
If your condom broke, or came off, while you were having sex, you may need to take emergency contraception (including what’s often called the ‘morning after pill’) to reduce the risk of pregnancy. This will be the case if you are not using another method of contraception correctly. It’s important to take emergency contraception as soon as possible, so try and get advice from a sexual health clinic ilash or your GP as soon as you can. You can also get emergency contraception from some pharmacies.
You may also have been at risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI), as fluids could have come into contact with your genitals so it would be a good idea to speak with a doctor or nurse at one of the above services or your local sexual health clinic about getting tested.
Common mistakes which can lead to the condom breaking include: not checking the condom packet for damage, not checking the expiry date, putting the condom on too late, the wrong way round or incorrectly, and taking the condom off too soon. Also using oil-based lubricants with latex condoms (such as Vaseline or moisturiser) can damage the latex.
OOPS….I didn’t use a condom
If you’ve had sex without using contraception – you can usually prevent pregnancy by using emergency contraception (including what’s often called the ‘morning after pill’) if you act fast.
You will also need to find out about STIs and getting tested, and remember that some STIs can have no symptoms so it is important to get tested.
It’s also important to think about why you didn’t use a condom. It could have been a one off and you got carried away, or do you often not use them? Is it you or your partner who doesn’t like using condoms, and how can you talk to them about it? Either way you only need to have sex once to get an STI and condoms are the only method of contraception that protect against STIs as well as pregnancy so it’s important to use them every time you have sex.
I’ve been sick or had diarrhoea
If you are taking an oral method of contraception (such as the combined pill or the progestogen only pill) these can be affected by vomiting or diarrhoea depending on whether they have had time to be absorbed by the stomach.
If you vomit within two hours of taking either type of pill this will not have had time to be absorbed by the stomach. You should take another pill straight away, and as long as you are not sick again you will still be protected against pregnancy. Take your next pill at the usual time.
If you have very severe vomiting or diarrhoea that lasts more than 24 hours you will need to follow the instructions for missed pills. Each day you are ill is classed as a missed pill day – you should still continue to take your pill each day if you can, but you will need to use an additional method of contraception such as condoms. If you have had sex in the previous seven days, you may need emergency contraception.
If you are using any other method of contraception such as condoms, internal or female condoms, the injection, patch, implant, IUD, IUS, vaginal ring, diaphragm or cap – these will not be affected by vomiting or diarrhoea as they do not rely on the hormones being absorbed by the stomach.
I think I need the morning after pill(emergency contraception)
If you’ve had sex without using contraception in the last five days, or you think your contraception may have failed don’t panic – you can usually prevent pregnancy by using emergency contraception if you act quickly.
There are two types of emergency contraception: the emergency contraceptive (EC) pill (also often called the ‘morning after pill’) and the intrauterine device (IUD).
The emergency contraceptive (EC) pill – often called the ‘morning after pill’.
Emergency contraceptive pills work by preventing or delaying ovulation.
There are two types of EC pill, Levonorgestrel (LNG) which can be taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex, and Ulipristal Acetate (UPA) which can be taken up to 120 hours (five days) after unprotected sex
The EC pill is more effective the sooner you take it
Remember, emergency contraception does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). You can read our section about STIs and getting tested, and remember that some STIs can have no symptoms so it is important to get tested.
Please go to where to go help section if you need to talk to someone or you have concerns