Online service offers emergency contraception

Women can now go online to obtain emergency contraception, even if they have not had unprotected sex and simply want to keep a spare supply in their medicine cabinet.

Lloyds pharmacy has launched the new online service so that women over the age of 18 can purchase the morning after pill in advance of need.

For instance, a woman may want to take a dose with her when she goes travelling in case she has unprotected sex and cannot reach a doctor or pharmacy which stocks emergency contraception.

Clare Kerr, head of clinical services at Lloyds pharmacy, explained: "With the morning after pill, time is of the essence.

"The treatment is up to 95 per cent effective when taken 24 hours after sex but that reduces to 85 per cent in the following 24 hours and dips to 58 per cent in the next 24 hours."

Ms Kerr added that the new service may help to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies and alleviate anxiety among women who have had unprotected sex.

The emergency contraceptive pill contains a special dose of progestogen and is designed to stop ovulation, stop an egg from being fertilised, or stop a fertilised egg from implanting in the womb.

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