The levonorgestrel pill is used by females as emergency contraception after they’ve had unprotected sex, or where their regular method of birth control has failed. This can include a condom breaking, a diaphragm slipping out of place, or in the case of a missed pill.
Levonorgestrel pills are available as various different brands, or in its generic form, and all versions of it are equally as effective. It’s available from pharmacies, GP surgeries, minor injuries units, sexual health clinics, A&E departments, and also online to buy for future use.
We don’t recommend buying the levonorgestrel pill online if you need it for immediate use, as it should be used within 72 hours of unprotected sex, and may not arrive in time for it to be effective, but if you’re worried about any future instances of unprotected sex, it can be a good thing to order so it’s immediately available to you if you do need it.
What is levonorgestrel?
Levonorgestrel is a type of synthetic progesterone. It mimics a hormone that’s naturally produced by the ovaries in varying levels throughout your menstrual cycle.
Levonorgestrel can sometimes be used in daily contraceptive pills, but it’s most commonly given at a higher dose of 1.5mg as an emergency contraceptive, or “morning after pill”. In the USA, levonorgestrel is commonly known by the branded version “Plan B”, and in the UK, the most well-known form of levonorgestrel is “Levonelle” or “Upostelle”.
How does levonorgestrel work?
Levonorgestrel works by stopping the ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulating) due to the increased level of progesterone in your body. As ovulation needs to take place for a sperm to fertilise an egg, stopping this process from happening means that pregnancy is prevented.
Levonorgestrel is also thought to work by preventing sperm from fertilising an egg that may have already been released by your ovaries before taking the morning after pill.
If you’re already pregnant, levonorgestrel won’t help you, as it isn’t an abortion pill. If you think you may already be pregnant, you should make an appointment with your doctor for confirmation.
Because of the way levonorgestrel works, if you have unprotected sex again after taking it, you will still be at risk of pregnancy, and may need to take another morning after pill, though this isn’t advised as regular contraception and you should avoid taking more than one emergency contraceptive pill in the same menstrual cycle.
The levonorgestrel morning after pill is around 84% effective. Unfortunately, it isn’t as effective as daily hormonal contraceptive pills, but it does help to prevent most unwanted pregnancies when taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex.
Levonorgestrel can be taken up to 72 hours after sexual intercourse, but it’s always best to take it as soon as possible, as it is most effective within 12 hours. You should always be able to access Levonorgestrel or other emergency contraceptive pills, but if you’re anxious about this, or if you’re travelling abroad where access to healthcare isn’t as easy as in the UK, you may choose to order levonorgestrel online so that it can be immediately available to you should you need it.
Levonorgestrel shouldn’t replace regular methods of contraception, and if you aren’t already taking the daily hormonal pill, it may be something for you to consider, as these are usually 99% effective at preventing pregnancies. Other methods to consider include condoms, diaphragms, and even spermicide.
Whilst levonorgestrel is usually 84% effective, there can be some medicines which can interact with it, meaning that it may be less effective than normal. If you take any of the following medicines, levonrogestrel may not be appropriate for you to use as emergency contraception, and you should make an appointment with your GP to discuss alternative options in case you ever need them:
- Other medicines for epilepsy
- Medicines for tuberculosis
- Some HIV treatments
- St John’s Wort
In addition to these medicines which may cause levonorgestrel to be less effective, this particular morning after pill can affect how ciclosporin works, so you should also speak to your GP if you take that, as your dose may need to be adjusted.
Levonorgestrel side effects
Because levonorgestrel morning after pills contain a high dose of progesterone, it can cause side effects in some females. Whilst these can be unpleasant, most women that have used levonorgestrel find the side effects mild or easy to cope with.
Some of the most common side effects of levonorgestrel include:
- Irregular bleeding until your next period
- Abdominal pain
- Abnormal period**
- Tender breasts
*Although vomiting can be a side effect of taking levonorgestrel, you should know that if you vomit within 3 hours of taking the pill, you should take another one as soon as possible, as the first one may not have had chance to work, and you could still be at risk of pregnancy.
**Most women that have taken levonorgestrel find that their next period is normal, and arrives as expected, but some find that it’s either a few days early or later than expected. If your period is more than 5 days late after you’ve taken levonorgestrel, you should make an appointment with your GP for advice and consider taking a pregnancy test, as there is a small change that levonorgestrel may not have worked for you.
Can levonorgestrel delay period?
Levonorgestrel can delay your period by a few days in some cases, but if your period still hasn’t arrived 5 days after its expected date, you should make an appointment with your doctor and consider taking a pregnancy test. Your chances of abnormal periods or delayed periods after taking levonorgestrel are increased if you take it more than once in the same menstrual cycle.
It is not advisable to take the levonorgestrel pill often unless it is in the form of a daily hormonal contraceptive. If you find that you’re needing to use levonorgestrel morning after pills on a regular basis, you may want to look at other methods of contraception, including the daily pill, or barrier methods such as condoms.
How many levonorgestrel pills should I take?
In a vast majority of women, one 1.5mg tablet of levonorgestrel is enough to prevent pregnancy. However, in some cases, your GP may recommend taking two pills. This is usually the case if you’ve been taking any of the medications that can make levonorgestrel less effective, and should only be done on the advice of your own GP.
Some doctors may also prescribe two tablets of levonorgestrel to women who have a BMI of over 26, as it has been suggested that weight may have an impact on the effectiveness of levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive pills. If you’re concerned about this, you should speak to your own GP about what your dosage should be if you ever need to use levonorgestrel as emergency contraception.
Levonorgestrel is available in various branded forms as well as a generic version. The form of levonorgestrel that’s talked about on this page refers to the generic form of the medicine, which is often the most cost-effective option. Although all levonorgestrel morning after pills contain the same amount of medication, it is your choice as to which one you purchase. They should all be as effective as each other.
Buy morning after pill
You can now buy the morning after pill online from reputable online prescribing services such as Doctor4U. If you’re looking to buy levonorgestrel for future use, ordering from us is a fast, simple, and confidential way of getting the medication that you need so that you can be prepared for any situation. We don’t recommend ordering the morning after pill online if you’re needing to use it immediately due to the fact that it may not arrive in enough time for it to be effective for you.
Morning after pill cost
The cost of the morning after pill varies on the brand that you choose. If you want to buy one tablet of 1.5mg levonorgestrel, it would cost £12.99 from Doctor4U, which includes your online consultation to make sure that the medication is safe for you to take.
Buy morning after pill online
Buying the morning after pill online is fast, safe, and secure. If you order levonorgestrel from Doctor4U, your treatment will be dispensed and shipped from our partner pharmacy in plain packaging, so nobody expect you will know what’s inside.
You can buy the morning after pill online from us if you reside anywhere within the UK. Although we offer next-day delivery, we don’t recommend that you order emergency contraception from any website for immediate use, and instead you should visit your local pharmacy, minor injuries unit, GP, sexual health clinic, or even A&E.