Where to get emergency contraceptive pill in Singapore

Where to get emergency contraceptive pill in Singapore

Reviewed by Dr Bosty Chan, MBChB, MRCS

Emergency contraceptive pills, also known as “morning after pills”, are a form of birth control taken after unprotected sex or failure of other contraceptive methods such as broken condoms or missed birth control pills. 

However, they have to be taken soon after intercourse occurs to be effective, following which any other intercourse should be protected (best if barrier contraception like condoms are used as the emergency contraceptive pills may interfere with hormonal contraception). 

It is also important to note that emergency contraception is an occasional method and should not replace regular contraception. 

How do they work? 

Emergency contraceptive pills mainly work by affecting the hormones in the body to prevent ovulation, so that fertilisation with a sperm does not take place. They also alter the uterus lining to impair the fertilised egg from attaching and hence prevents pregnancy.

Do not use them if you are already pregnant. The two different kinds of emergency contraceptive pills should also not be used together.

What are the different pills available in Singapore?

There are only two kinds of emergency contraceptive pills currently approved by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) of Singapore.

Postinor-2 is one of them. This pill contains levonorgestrel, a progestin, and is most commonly taken as a single tablet as soon as possible within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse, and a second tablet 12 hours after the first. 

Some people may be asked to take two pills at the same time within 72 hours. Studies have found that when taken correctly (two tablets 12 hours apart), Postinor-2 is estimated to prevent 85% of expected pregnancies. 

However, efficacy declines with time after intercourse, with highest at 95% within 24 hours, followed by 85% 24-48 hours, and lowest at 58% if used between 48 and 72 hours. 

The other would be Ella, which contains 30mg of ulipristal acetate, a progestin receptor modulator. One tablet is to be taken as soon as possible within 5 days of intercourse. 

Ella has been shown to reduce the rate of pregnancy to just 9 in 1000 when taken within 24 hours of unprotected sex, and continues to remain effective up to 120 hours.

Given that both medications are proven effective, how do you know what is for you?

If you are within the 72-hour window after unprotected intercourse, Postinor-2 has high efficacy and is more of an economical choice.

However, if you are beyond the 72-hour window, Ella might be better for you. The other benefit of Ella is that it only requires one tablet, which can be useful if you are likely to forget to take your second dose of Postinor-2.

For both medications, they can be taken with or without food, and at any time of the menstrual cycle. If vomiting occurs within three hours after consumption, they should be taken again. 

For first-time users, it would also be good to look out for symptoms of allergy, such as difficulty breathing, swollen face or lips, or itchy rash. If these symptoms occur, contact us immediately.

Are there any side effects?

Some side effects may occur. 

For instance, you may experience some spotting or bleeding within two to three days after taking the tablet. Though your next period should occur at the expected time (or within one week of this date). Otherwise, it is recommended to get a pregnancy test.

Other common side effects include nausea and vomiting (which may be reduced if taken after food), headache and breast tenderness. Some also report dizziness and fatigue, in which case you should avoid driving or operating machinery. 

Nevertheless, emergency contraceptive pills are generally safe and can be used when needed.

Where to get emergency contraceptive pills in Singapore?

In Singapore, emergency contraceptive pills are prescription-only pills, which means you would need to consult a licensed physician and get a prescription for it. 

Digital Women’s Health Clinics — e.g. Dame (thedame.sg)

Dame offers same-day consult and delivery (within 4 hours), delivered to your preferred location, starting from S$64. This would ensure timeliness in getting your medication, and hence higher efficacy. 

This option is convenient as you do not need to make your way down physically, and also provides the advantage of privacy, where consultation and delivery can be done discreetly with doctors who specialise in sexual health. They also tend to offer a wider range of products, so you have more choices. 

GPs

You may visit a GP to get a prescription. However, depending on what the particular clinic stocks up on, you may or may not be able to get the medication on the spot. GPs may also have the inconvenience of queuing, or fixed hours/certain rest days that may not fit into your schedule. 

A&E / 24-hour Clinic

You may get a prescription and the pill from A&E, but this would not be the best choice as priority care would likely be given to those with serious medical issues. 24-hour clinics are advantageous in that you can visit anytime, but location-wise they may be limited. Again, these places would not provide the same level of privacy and specialisation compared to a digital women’s health clinic. 

Telemedicine — e.g. Doctor Anywhere

Another option that offers online consultation and medication would be regular telemedicine clinics. This is also a choice that provides convenience, but lacks the more curated experience of speaking with doctors that specialise on the topic of sexual health that digital women’s health clinics like The Dame offers. There may also be lesser choice of products available. 

Pharmacy

Pharmacies are also a possible place to get emergency contraceptive pills. However, do note that you will need a prescription obtained from any of the other above mentioned options. 

Tips for first-time users

During consultation, do inform your doctor of any drug allergies, medical conditions (e.g. liver disease) or any other medicines (including supplements and herbal remedies) concurrently so that they are able to choose the most suitable type of pill for you. 


At Dame, we believe in choice. We carry the largest selection of birth control methods that can be readily access through our online platform. With just a few clicks, you can get a professional consult with our experts, and the medications can be shipped discreetly to you.

There is even an option for subscription, if you are looking to commit to something regular and fuss free.


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