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Posted by James Ryan

How to get the morning after pill in Ireland

image of contraception pill on a blue table
4 minute read

Are you in Ireland and considering taking the morning after pill but not sure where to go, or if you have to pay for it? Well, we’ve got you covered—in this article we’re going to discuss how the morning after pill works and when you can take it to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. We also look at where and how you can get emergency contraception. 


Side note: We’ll use the terms ‘the morning after pill’ and ‘emergency contraception’ interchangeably as they describe the same pill. 

What is the morning after pill and how does it work? 

The morning after pill is used by women when their regular contraception has failed, such as their condom split during sex, they’ve missed a pill, or if they have had unprotected sex and want to stop a pregnancy from taking place. 


There are two main types of morning after pills:


  1. Progesterone. 

 Progesterone-based morning after pills work by stopping ovulation during the first 14 days of a menstrual cycle.


  1. Ulipristal. 

 Ulipristal-based morning after pills work because they delay ovulation before the ovulation hormones are produced.   

How long after sex can you take the morning after pill?

The time you’ve got to take the morning after pill depends on which type you are prescribed or buy.


If you take a progesterone-based emergency contraception, you can take it up to 3 days (72 hours) after you’ve had sex. 


If you take Ulipristal, you have 5 days (120 hours) after sex to take the pill. 

When is the morning after pill the most effective?

 The morning after pill is most effective the sooner it is taken after unprotected sex. 


Progesterone-based emergency contraception is 99% effective in stopping a pregnancy when it's taken within 12 hours of unprotected sex. They become less effective if taken on days 2 or 3. 


The ulipristal-based morning after pill is 99.5% effective at preventing pregnancy. It works best the sooner you can take it. However, it can be affected by hormonal contraceptives or if you have had any other morning after pills within the same menstrual cycle. 

How to get hold of emergency contraception

In Ireland, it’s possible to get contraception by going directly to your local pharmacy. Before your pharmacist provides you with the morning after pill, they are likely to ask you some questions about your health and when you had unprotected sex. Then, if appropriate, the pharmacist will offer you the morning after pill. 


You can also be prescribed emergency contraception from your doctor or family planning clinic. can also prescribe the morning after pill. offer a discreet and quick service to help you take the emergency contraceptive pill as soon as possible by issuing you a prescription for you to take to a local pharmacy.  

How much is emergency contraception in Ireland?

The price of the morning after pill varies between pharmacies, however, it usually costs around 35 euros. It’s also good to be aware that some pharmacies may charge an additional 2.50 euro dispensing charge. 


If you have a medical card you can get your emergency contraception for free directly from a pharmacy and without a prescription from your doctor. 

Do you need a prescription for the morning after pill?


You don’t need a prescription to get emergency contraception, you can go directly to your pharmacy. If you hold a medical card you can get the morning after pill for free from your pharmacist. 

Is the morning after pill available in all pharmacies in Ireland?

The morning after pill is available in many of the pharmacies in Ireland and can be prescribed without a prescription. 

Are there any side effects from taking the morning after pill? 

Some women may find that they experience side effects after taking the morning after pill. Side effects can include:


  • Feeling or being sick

  • Dizziness

  • Feeling tired

  • Headaches

  • Tummy ache

  • Sore breasts

  • Diarrhoea

  • Irregular bleeding (you may experience bleeding before your next period is due or your period may arrive early or be up to one week late)  


Side effects should get better within a few days. If they don’t, discuss this with your doctor or pharmacist.  


If you’re sick within 2 hours of taking emergency contraception you should reach out to your doctor or pharmacist to find out if you need to take another morning after pill. 


There are no long-term side effects from taking emergency contraception and there’s no evidence to show that taking the morning after pill on a regular basis will make it less effective or cause any harm such as infertility. 

Wrapping it up 

 There are different types of the morning after pill, your doctor or pharmacist will decide which one is right for you. Emergency contraception is most effective the earlier it’s taken. They can, however, be taken up to 5 days after sex. can quickly provide you with emergency contraception either delivered discreetly to your door or they can issue you a prescription to a local pharmacy, find out more here


In Ireland, it’s also possible to get emergency contraception over the counter at most pharmacies without a prescription from your doctor. The morning after pill will cost around 35 euros but is free to those with a medical card. 



This blog was written by Rebekah Louise Benfield, a women's health and wellness specialist writerfor