What is MAP?

The Morning After Pill (MAP) is an emergency contraceptive used to prevent pregnancy. It is taken either after unprotected sex (no contraceptives) or after contraceptives failed (e.g condom broke).

The sooner a morning after pill is taken, the more likely it is to prevent pregnancy.

More detailed information can be found on the Doctors for Choice Malta website. All the information on this page comes from that website.

Note that the MAP is not abortive. It is also around 75% effective at preventing pregnancy, however the sooner it is taken the more effective it is.

There are 2 primary types of MAP

  1. EllaOne contains the ingredient ulipristal acetate. It prevents pregnancy by modifying the action of the natural hormone progesterone. It should be taken as soon as possible after sex, although it can still work up to five days (120 hours) after sex. No dose adjustment is necessary for women in the overweight or obese BMI range. Women with severe asthma or severe liver disease should seek medical advice before taking EllaOne.
    • For more information about EllaOne see the patient information leaflet here.
    • There is also more information on EllaOne’s UK website: www.ellaone.co.uk
  2. Levonorgestrel is a type of hormone that prevents pregnancy. The pills that contain levonorgestrel can be taken up to 3 days (72 hours) after sex. Women who are obese may need to take a double dose of levonorgestrel-based pills.
    • Levonelle and Escapelle are two morning-after pills that contain levonorgestrel 1.5mg and are available in Malta.
    • Escapelle’s website allows you to find pharmacies that sell it, and it also covers Malta: Escapelle Pharmacy Finder
    • There is also more information about Escapelle on its website: www.escapelle.com

Your Rights

  • Pharmacists who refuse to dispense the morning after pill for moral reasons should tell you where you will be able to purchase it.
  • As professionals, all pharmacists must treat their clients in a non-judgemental and confidential manner. If you feel that this is not the case, you should make a complaint with the pharmacy or the authorities.
  • In Malta the morning after pill is available without the need for a doctor’s prescription, and therefore a pharmacist should not ask for one. However, a pharmacist may ask you to see a doctor if you have a health condition that may make the morning after pill unsafe.
  • There is no limit to how many times you can purchase the morning-after pill.
  • In Malta, people are generally deemed able to make decisions about their health when they reach the age of 16 years. The age of sexual consent is also 16 years. Therefore, there should be no barriers to 16 and 17 year olds accessing the morning after pill.