The morning-after pill is a "emergency contraception" method. It must only be used very rarely. The morning-after pill should not be thought of as a true method of contraception. It is an occasional method that cannot replace regular contraception.
It is a catch-up method to be used in the event of an accident (burst condom etc.), or if other contraceptive methods were not used or were forgotten.
It is between 75 and 80% effective.
There are two types of morning-after pill:
- One is dispensed in pharmacies on medical prescription and reimbursed by social security system in France;
- The other is sold over the counter in pharmacies, without prescription in France and is not reimbursed by the French social security system.
The pills come in boxes containing two pills in the non-reimbursed form and four pills for the reimbursed form (in France). The first one or two pills should be taken with a glass of water as soon as possible after unprotected sexual intercourse and must be taken within 72 hours (3 days) of intercourse.
The second dose of tablet(s) must be taken 12 to 24 hours later.
After 72 hours, consult your doctor.