Emergency contraception (morning after pill)

Emergency contraception, often called the “morning after” pill, is most effective when used soon after unprotected sex. There are different types of morning after pill, all of which are available without a prescription.

A woman taking a pill

  • Norlevo and Levonorgestrel Norfri are most effective when used within 12 hours of unprotected sex. They become ineffective when used more than 72 hours after intercourse.
  • Ellaone and Femke can be used up to five days after unprotected sex, but they are most effectiv when used as soon as possible.

Emergency contraception works by inhibiting or delaying ovulation in order to prevent fertilisation. If menstruation is more than 5 days late after using the emergency contraception pill, you should take a pregnancy test.

Where can I get emergency contraception?

Emergency contraception is available from both pharmacies and shops. In the case of shops, the age limit for sales of emergency contraception and all other medications is 18. At pharmacies, there is no age limit for sales of emergency contraception.

If you are under 18 and unable to get to a pharmacy? Contact the emergency medical service or a public health nurse for help in obtaining emergency contraception.

How to use the emergency contracetion pill

The treatment consists of one tablet which should be taken as soon as possible after unprotected collection or prevention. The tablet can be taken at any time during the menstrual cycle. If you vomit within 3 hours of taking it, you should take another tablet.

Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, fatigue, breast tenderness, bleeding disorders, headache and dizziness are common side effects.

Copper IUD as emergency contraception

Copper IUDs can also act as emergency contraception. The IUD must be inserted no later than five days after unprotected intercourse. The copper IUD is the safest method of emergency contraception, and a good alternative if it is very important not to get pregnant. A doctor or a public health nurse must insert the spiral.

Use effective contraception and condoms

Emergency contraception does not replace other means of contraception and should only be used in an emergency. Only condoms provide protection against the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.

Olafia Clinic

Centre for counselling, examination and treatment of sexually transmitted infections at Oslo University Hospital. 

Sex og samfunn

Centre for youth sexuality. Sex og samfunn is a service for people under the age of 25 which provides guidance and prescriptions for contraception as well as the opportunity to get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).


The public information channel for young people. 

The contraception guide in several languages

Overview of all contraceptives, available in Norwegian, English, Urdu, Polish, Somali, Arabic and Tigrinya.


Information about sex and cohabitation in Arabic, English, Farsi, French, Norwegian, Polish, Somali, Tigrinya and Turkish, aimed at immigrants and others with short periods of residence.

Content provided by Direktoratet for medisinske produkter (DMP)

Direktoratet for medisinske produkter (DMP) . Emergency contraception (morning after pill). [Internet]. Oslo: The Norwegian Directorate of Health; updated Monday, June 19, 2023 [retrieved Sunday, May 26, 2024]. Available from: https://www.helsenorge.no/en/sex-og-samliv/contraception/emergency-contraception/

Last updated Monday, June 19, 2023