Levonelle is an emergency contraceptive that is taken within 72 hours (3 days) of unprotected sex or if the usual contraceptive method has failed. It is used to prevent pregnancy.

Levonelle is the branded name for a ‘morning after’ pill. There are two different ‘morning after’ pills available to buy – Levonelle and EllaOne.¬†EllaOne¬†contains the drug ulipristal acetate and Levonelle contains the drug levonorgestrel.

It will not prevent a pregnancy every time and is more effective if you take it as soon as possible after unprotected sex. It is better to take it within 12 hours rather than delay until the third day.

Levonelle does not continue to protect against pregnancy. If you have unprotected sex any time after taking Levonelle you can become pregnant.


How does Levonelle work?

Women are most fertile during the menstrual cycle, when their ovaries release an egg (ovulation). Ovulation normally occurs between 12 and 14 days before the next menstruation begins. This is the most likely time to become pregnant after having unprotected sex.

Levonelle is considered to function by preventing or delaying ovulation. It may also inhibit sperm from fertilising a previously discharged egg. Levonelle is only effective if used within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse.Levonelle’s efficacy is greatly diminished when taken 72 hours or more after unprotected intercourse. For this reason, it should not be taken if unprotected intercourse occurred more than 72 hours ago.

The Levonelle pill is ineffective if you are already pregnant. If you have had unprotected intercourse during the same menstrual cycle, you may already be pregnant, so Levonelle will not work. If you suspect you are already pregnant, please indicate that when filling out our online form.

Levonelle is taken in one dose as soon as possible following unprotected sex. In rare cases, people may be prescribed two tablets instead of one.

Leevonelle and regular contraception

Leevonelle can be used as an emergency contraceptive, even if you are already using regular contraception. An example is forgetting to take your regular pill.

After you take Leevonelle you should:

  • Take your next contraceptive pill, insert a new ring or apply a new patch within 12 hours of taking Leevonelle
  • Continue taking your contraceptive pill as usual

Your regular contraception method will not be effective immediately. You should abstain from sex or use a condom for 7 days except:

  • 9 days if taking Qlaira
  • 2 days if taking the progestogen-only pill (POP or mini-pill)

Taking this precaution ensures your regular contraception becomes effective before having unprotected sex again.

Leevonelle and other emergency contraception methods should only be used on occasion. If you find yourself frequently taking emergency contraception, you should think about switching to regular contraception. These methods of contraception work better at preventing conception. Examples of regular contraception:

  • Condoms
  • Combined pill
  • Mini-pill (progestogen-only pill)
  • Hormone implant
  • Hormone coil
  • Copper coil
  • Hormone patch
  • Vaginal ring

Additional information


1 tablet, 2 tablet(s)


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