The morning after pill, also known as emergency contraception, is used after sex to prevent pregnancy. If you had unprotected sex or a condom burst and you do not want to get pregnant, you should take a morning after pill.
The morning after pill is about 75% effective at preventing pregnancy. This means that if you take a morning after pill, your chances of becoming pregnant reduced by three fourths. The sooner after sex the morning after pill is taken, the more likely it is to work.
There are two main types of morning after pill:
EllaOne contains ulipristal acetate and can be taken up to five days after sex.
Escapelle and Levonelle contain levonorgestrel and can be taken up to three days after sex.
EllaOne may be more effective than the other morning after pills, especially in women who are obese. EllaOne is also slightly more expensive than the other morning after pills.
The morning after pill is a safe medicine. Possible side effects include headache, abdominal pain, nausea, and spotting. If you use a morning after pill, your next period may be earlier or later than usual, and it may be lighter or heavier than usual. If you vomit within two hours of taking a morning after pill you will need to take another dose. To check whether the morning after pill has worked, you can take a high sensitivity pregnancy test like Clearblue from 6 days before your next period is due.
There is no limit to how many times you can use a morning after pill, even in the same month, although if you find yourself using the morning after pill often you may wish to consider a long acting contraceptive. When you take a morning after pill, your regular contraceptive pill may not work for the next seven days (nine days if you use Qlaira), so make sure to also use a condom during this time.
The morning after pill does not prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If you think you may have an STI either because you had unprotected sex or because your condom broke, make an appointment with the GUM clinic at Mater Dei Hospital or see your GP.
The morning after pill does not cause end a pregnancy that has already started. It works by preventing ovulation and fertilisation, but it does not prevent implantation of a fertilised egg. It is common for "pro-life" sources to make claims that the morning after pill is abortifacent, but these claims are false and not based on science. If you have had a positive pregnancy test and do not wish to continue the pregnancy you will need to have an abortion, which is done using different medications.
The morning after pills are available without a doctor's prescription from many pharmacies in Malta and Gozo. Escapelle and Levonelle cost around 20 Euro, whereas EllaOne costs around 30 Euro.
A pharmacist may ask you some questions related to your health to determine whether it is safe for you to take a morning after pill.
Some pharmacies do not sell the morning after pills. Those that do not should refer you to other pharmacies that stock them. To find pharmacies in Malta and Gozo that stock the morning after pills you can use the Escapelle pharmacy finder or this list on pharmacy.com.mt. You can also use the map below.
Most pharmacies are closed on Sundays and public holidays. On these days, check this roster to see which ones are open. We recommend calling pharmacies to check whether they can sell you the morning after pill before you go, to avoid wasting time.
Good to know: Smiths Pharmacy at PAMA Shopping Complex in Mosta sells EllaOne and Escapelle and is open Monday to Saturday 8am to 10pm.
You can find pharmacies that sell the morning after pill in your area on this map. This map was produced by Volt Malta.
Do you want more information about the morning after pills? Are you having difficulty buying the morning after pill in Malta? For help, call us or use the chat at the bottom right corner of the screen.