Can you use Yasmin as emergency contraception?

by Dr Fran Yarlett · January 25, 2023

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Reviewed by Dr Melanie Davis-Hall on January 25, 2023

Emergency Contraception

Unprotected sex is common, whether it’s due to a missed pill, a condom split or just too many tequilas. In the moments after, you may be thinking “oh no” and start to panic about the potential of a pregnancy. If you have some Yasmin pill packets lying around, it’s tempting to wonder if these could be taken to act as emergency contraception. Can you use Yasmin as emergency contraception, is this safe and would this work to prevent pregnancy?

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Can Yasmin be used as an emergency pill?

The morning after pill is used after an episode of unprotected sex (without a condom, or when other contraception failed) to prevent pregnancy. It delays the release of an egg (ovulation) which gives time for the sperm released into your body to die before it can fertilise an egg leading to a pregnancy. There are two hormones that are found in the different types of morning after pill: ulipristal acetate (which is sold as ellaOne) and levonorgestrel (which is sold as Plan B, Levonelle One Step or other brands).

Yasmin is a combined pill that contains oestrogen and a progestogen called drospirenone. When taken everyday as ongoing contraception, the combined pill works by preventing ovulation. However, taken as a one off, or just after unprotected sex will not delay the release of an egg. Therefore, Yasmin cannot be used as an emergency contraceptive pill. Not only will it not work, but taking several Yasmin pills in an attempt to prevent pregnancy would cause you to take a high and potentially harmful amount of oestrogen, putting you at risk of blood clots and high blood pressure alongside other side effects including bloating, breast pain and mood swings.

What to do if you miss a Yasmin pill

There are different options you should take if you miss a Yasmin pill depending on how many pills you have taken, where in a packet you are or whether you back to back your pill packets (take your pill continuously without a break). We have a handy and easy to use missed pill calculator if you ever miss a Yasmin pill. This calculator can help you with the next steps after missing a pill and may suggest you speak to a healthcare professional or order the morning after pill.

Using emergency contraception

After unprotected sex, emergency contraception can be used to prevent pregnancy. The copper coil is the most effective form of emergency contraception and is effective at preventing pregnancy even after you have ovulated. An emergency copper coil can be fitted by your local sexual health service. 

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The morning after pill can be used before you have released an egg. Most people won’t know when they ovulate (release an egg) so the pill is most effective when taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex. Alongside emergency contraception, you should consider testing for STIs if you have had unprotected sex without a condom. Even if you have used emergency contraception, you should take a pregnancy test 3 weeks after unprotected sex. Buy 2 Clearblue tests from Amazon (affiliate link)

The morning after pill

There are different ways you can get the morning after pill. You can order the pill online to be delivered to your door or it is available from most pharmacies, your local sexual health clinic or GP surgery. You may wish to read our guide on which morning after pill is the best to help you decide between the two different types of morning after pill. You can even order the morning after pill to keep a spare one for future use, as we are living in the 21st century!

Remember to make sure the morning after pill is as effective as possible, you should take it as soon as possible after unprotected sex. You should take another morning after pill or consider the copper coil if you vomit after taking it.

If you are concerned about missing pills or need emergency contraception, you can order emergency contraception directly from The Lowdown, and speak to our expert medical team for more guidance on long term contraception.

One of The Lowdown’s fab Clinical Directors, Dr Frances Yarlett MBBCh (Hons) BSc (Hons) MRCP (2016) MRCGP DFSRH completed her medical training from Cardiff University in 2013. She is currently working as a salaried GP partner in Sheffield with an interest in complex medical patients and women’s health. Fran is really passionate about patient choice and wants to empower women to take control of their bodies and contraception needs.