Levonelle is a type of morning after pill which can be taken to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

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Pack of 1 1.5mg Levonelle oral tablet
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Frequently asked questions

Where can I buy Levonelle?

Levonelle is available from most pharmacies, but you will need to speak to a doctor or pharmacist before buying it. If you would prefer to buy Levonelle without visiting a pharmacy, it is available from reputable online doctors such as ZAVA. There, you will need to fill out a medical questionnaire to make sure Levonelle is safe and suitable for you.

Can you get Levonelle on the NHS?

Yes, Levonelle is available on the NHS. A doctor or pharmacist will need to talk to you and check that Levonelle is right for you first.

Can you get Levonelle over the counter?

Yes, Levonelle is available over the counter from most pharmacies or reputable online doctors, such as ZAVA. You will still need to answer a few questions for the pharmacist to make sure it’s safe and suitable for you.

How long after taking Levonelle should I do a pregnancy test?

A pregnancy test can normally detect pregnancy 21 days (3 weeks) after unprotected sex. If you want to check whether Levonelle has worked with a pregnancy test, you should wait at least this long.

What is the difference between Levonelle and ellaOne?

Levonelle and ellaOne contain different active ingredients but both work in the same way. Levonelle contains levonorgestrel, whereas ellaOne contains ulipristal acetate. They can also be taken at different times. Levonelle is effective up to 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex, while ellaOne can be taken up to 120 hours (5 days) after.

How long will Levonelle stay in your system?

Levonelle can delay ovulation for around 3 days after you take it. This means you may come on your period later than usual, but usually no more than 5 days late. This does not mean you are protected from pregnancy during this period. Even if you are not ovulating after taking Levonelle, you can still become pregnant if you have unprotected sex. Should you have unprotected sex after you’ve taken Levonelle, you’ll need to take another tablet.

Can Levonelle delay your period?

Levonelle can affect your period by making it slightly earlier or later than normal. If your period is more than 5 days late or you experience any abnormal vaginal bleeding, speak to your doctor. You should also do a pregnancy test to check if you are pregnant. If you have taken Levonelle and find out you are pregnant, speak to your doctor.

How do I know if Levonelle has worked?

The only way to know for sure if Levonelle or any form of emergency contraception has worked is by waiting for your next period. If your period arrives when it should, you are most likely not pregnant. If your period is late, you can take a pregnancy test.

Can you drink alcohol after taking Levonelle?

Yes, you can drink alcohol after taking Levonelle – alcohol is not known to cause any interactions. If you get side effects like nausea and vomiting, it is best to avoid alcohol until you feel better.

What if I vomit after taking Levonelle?

If you vomit after taking Levonelle and it has been less than 3 hours since you took the tablet, you will need to get another. Speak to a pharmacist, doctor, or sexual health clinic so you can get another dose. If you vomit after taking Levonelle and it has been longer than 3 hours, your body will have absorbed the medication and it is not recommended to take another tablet unless you have unprotected sex again. A known side effect of Levonelle is vomiting, but this should pass within a few days.

Can Levonelle delay your period?

Yes, Levonelle can make your period come earlier or later than usual. Speak to your doctor and take a pregnancy test if your period is delayed for longer than 5 days.

Can you take Levonelle while breastfeeding?

You can take Levonelle if you are breastfeeding but it’s best to take it after you have breastfed your baby. Leave at least a 7 day gap between taking Levonelle and breastfeeding your baby again.

Can Levonelle cause spotting?

Yes, a very common side effect of Levonelle is irregular bleeding. This is usually not a cause for concern but speak to your doctor if you are bleeding heavily or your period is very painful.

Is Levonelle safe?

Yes, Levonelle is safe to take but can sometimes cause some mild side effects. As you are only taking Levonelle as a single dose, it is not likely to cause any long term effects. There is no evidence that Levonelle will affect your ability to have a baby in the future.

Will Levonelle affect my fertility in the future?

Taking Levonelle should not affect your fertility in the future, even if it’s been taken more than once in a short period. However, it is safer and much more effective to use condoms or other methods of contraception regularly and to avoid taking Levonelle too often. Levonelle, or any other form of emergency contraception, should only be used in emergencies, and not as a regular form of contraception.

Do you bleed after taking Levonelle?

Some people may experience irregular bleeding after using Levonelle. If you’re unsure whether your bleeding is from your period, you can take a pregnancy test as long as it is at least 21 days (3 weeks) since you had unprotected sex.

Can Levonelle cause mood swings?

Levonelle contains hormones which can affect mood, and a common side effect of the medication is mood swings. They normally go away after a few days, but if they do not then you should speak to your doctor.

Does Levonelle stop sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?

No, Levonelle will only delay ovulation and prevent pregnancy. You are not protected from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) when you take it. You should use alternative contraceptives such as condoms in order to prevent STIs.

Does Levonelle cause stomach pain?

You may experience some stomach pain after using Levonelle. This is normally mild and will go away within a few days. If the pain becomes unmanageable or does not go away, you should speak to your doctor.

Medically reviewed by:
Dr Babak Ashrafi Clinical Lead for Service Expansion
Accreditations: BSc, MBBS, MRCGP (2008)

Babak studied medicine at King’s College London and graduated in 2003, having also gained a bachelor’s degree in Physiology during his time there. He completed his general practice (GP) training in East London, where he worked for a number of years as a partner at a large inner-city GP practice. He completed the Royal College of GPs membership exam in 2007.

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Last reviewed: 24 May 2023

You might need emergency contraception if you’ve recently had unprotected sex and want to reduce your risk of getting pregnant. ZAVA offers a morning after pill service, which includes a variety of options.

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