Bloggers talk Morning After Manners
Watch Binky’s latest vlog on emergency contraception
Binky talks about her experience of emergency contraception and what options are available.
What To Do When You Need Emergency Contraception
This blog post is written in collaboration with ellaOne in support of their Morning After Manners campaign, and I’m proud to have been given a chance to participate and help empower and educate people so that they feel like they can talk about contraception and emergency contraception with a partner. I really believe that it’s important for people to understand their options enough to comfortable make the best choice for themselves.
The Morning After Manners website has lots of information, including a morning after quiz to test your own morning-after etiquette.
After taking the quiz, I got the Morning After Master score, which I’m very happy with! I’ve always been quite mindful of approaching sex with respect and honesty, and I think it’s important that we maintain that level of courtesy for the other person.
You certainly don’t have to sit and make small talk in the morning if you don’t want to, but you don’t have to rudely kick the other person out of your home or sneak out of theirs before they wake up.
There is so much stigma around the morning after pill, and I feel it too! Although I film all kinds of sex-positive videos and frequently tell my viewers about my embarrassing sex stories, I’ve never actually spoken about my experience with it.
There’s still a lot of judgement surrounding emergency contraception and I didn’t want to expose myself to people’s opinions and misconceptions.
About two years ago, I was in the early stages of a new relationship and I wasn’t on any hormonal contraception. We were just using condoms at the time and the condom split, but we didn’t actually realize until it was too late.
My experience was unnecessarily stressful because I didn’t know how to approach the conversation. I knew about the morning after pill, but I had no idea what my options were or how to even have that conversation with the guy I was seeing.
This was the same guy who thought the pill protected you both against STDs, so I wasn’t confident that he’d have understood emergency contraception. There is a huge lack of education, which only makes things more awkward and complicated.
I did a quick Google search, walked to my local pharmacy and got it over the counter.
My experience shouldn’t have had to be like that. I should’ve been able to have a normal conversation with the boy I was seeing. I should have been educated enough about the morning after pill to know what to do without having to look it up online, and I definitely should not have been too embarrassed to talk to people about it.
Whether you’re single, in a new relationship or in a long-term commitment, accidents can happen, and your preferred method of contraception can fail. Knowing about emergency contraception is important so that you know what your back-up options are, and so that you can have an easy conversation with your partner without either of you freaking out.
Recent research carried out by ellaOne reveals that seven in ten (69%) of 17-35 year olds surveyed agree that the responsibility of emergency contraception should lie with both parties.1 On top of that, nearly half of the men surveyed (47%) said that they’d go with their sexual partner after a first date to get emergency contraception if needed.i
Emergency contraception needs to be right for you and your situation, and you need to be making informed decisions. You need to know your options, so here they are:
Option 1 – The morning after pill
I think we’ve all, at some point, heard about the morning after pill. At least I hope so.
There are two types of morning after pill available – one type contains ulipristal acetate (ellaOne) and has to be taken within 120 hours (5 days) of unprotected sex.2 ellaOne is the most effective morning after pill available.3 The other contains levonorgestrel and has to be taken within 72 hours (3 days) of unprotected sex occurring.4
You can get the morning after pill over the counter at the pharmacy without prescription. You can also order it online, which is super convenient if you’re in a situation where that suits you better.
However, and I didn’t know this, the morning after pill only works if you take it before you’ve ovulated…
Morning after pills work by delaying ovulation (when your egg is released), if it hasn’t already happened. This means that the sperm waiting in the fallopian tubes will be unable to meet an egg and fertilise it, which is similar to regular contraceptive pills. Those also work by preventing egg release.
This is why morning after pill is most effective when taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex.ii,iii
Option 2 – The IUD, otherwise known as the copper coil
This is another thing I didn’t know – I had no idea that the coil could be used as emergency
The coil can be inserted up to 5 days after you’ve had unprotected sex and is considered to be the most effective method of emergency contraception overall.5 Obviously, if you choose to go with the coil, you should still go and get it fitted as soon as possible after you’ve had unprotected sex.
The copper IUD is available from contraception clinics, sexual health clinics and GP surgeries. You will need to schedule a consultation and an insertion appointment, so make sure you do this as soon as possible. It’s also always worth consulting your pharmacist about the morning after pill while waiting for your appointment. In the event of a delay or if you change your mind, you should still have reduced your risk of pregnancy.
This method works by releasing copper into your womb, which alters the cervical mucus and makes it more difficult for sperm to reach an egg and survive. It can also stop a fertilised egg from being able to implant itself, thus preventing pregnancy.
Make it right for you
Emergency contraception is exactly that – it’s to be used in an emergency. No matter who you are or what your situation is, accidents can happen. Unfortunately, the majority of us didn’t get thoroughly taught about it in school, so there still are many misconceptions that leave people feeling embarrassed, ashamed and scared to ask the important questions when they need to.
This lack of awareness is why it’s important to go out of our way to be informed and to have the knowledge we need in order to make smart and responsible choices.
People nowadays still often confuse taking morning after pill with getting an abortion. It’s important to know that emergency contraception has nothing to do with abortion. The morning after pill, or the coil, are used to prevent you from getting pregnant, not to end a pregnancy.
We shouldn’t feel any shame for having sex and enjoying a healthy sex life. Sexual encounters put you at your most vulnerable with another person, and you should feel comfortable talking to them about the sex that you’re having. Being open and honest about your contraception and your plan in case something goes wrong helps you feel comfortable in the unlikelihood that you might need it.
Morning After Manners is about opening up the discussion about 21st century dating etiquette. We want to break down stigma associated with emergency contraception and to educate and empower people so that they understand their options enough to comfortably make the best choice for themselves.
Please remember that I’m not a medical professional and I can’t give you any medical advice. If you do have any concerns or questions about emergency contraception, please speak to a pharmacist or a doctor.
1 ellaOne consumer research, conducted by Censuswide, Last Accessed July 2018
2 Electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC): ellaOne 30 mg. Summary of Product Characteristics. Available from: http://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/22280/SPC/ (Last accessed: July 2018)
3 Glasier AF, Cameron ST, Fine PM et al. The Lancet 2010; 375: 555-562
4 Levonorgestrel Summary of Product Characteristics. Available from: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/28337 (Last accessed: July 2018)
5 https://www.fpa.org.uk/sites/default/files/emergency-contraception-your-guide.pdf (Last accessed: July 2018)
* ellaOne® 30mg tablet contains ulipristal acetate and is indicated for emergency contraception
for unprotected sexual intercourse or contraceptive failure. Always read the label.
Watch Oloni’s latest vlog on 21st century dating etiquette
Oloni chats about 21st century dating etiquette, including sex and what to do if you experience a contraceptive fail
Why Morning After Manners Matter
Dami Olonisakin – August 7, 2018
Being intimate with your sexual partner can be an enjoyable and wonderful feeling, but it can also be tricky. As great as the experience may be, there are times we might find ourselves regretting it. Not regretting the sex, but the fact that a condom wasn’t used or that it slipped off, broke and nothing was done about it in the heat of the time.
During sex, that euphoric feeling can take over as you get lost in the moment, because, sometimes contraception isn’t always what’s on our mind during sex.
So what happens now?
Well, admittedly, I’ve found myself in this position before and I’m sure many people who are reading this have too. Guys have probably kicked themselves and panicked about the situation, whilst women have dreaded thinking about what they know they need to do next… Sort out emergency contraception.
According to new research by ellaOne, the most effective morning after pill, who surveyed over 2,000 17-35 year olds, 61% of people saw that offering to make tea the morning after sex was seen as the height of great manners*. The emergency contraceptive brand also found that 46% believed that allowing your sexual partner to have a lie in was also good manners*.
But what about when a condom hasn’t been used? Yes, a cup of tea and a lie in is nice, but discussing emergency contraception is even better. You can even do both together!
After being sexually active for a while, I’ve learnt and understood how important communication is, both when having sex and after the act. I always made it clear when I was and wasn’t using an ongoing method of contraception like the pill, and would be proactive in raising the issue to ensure a method of contraception was in place when having sex. If a contraceptive mishap did happen, either I usually agreed to split the cost of the emergency contraceptive or I’ve gone with a partner to go and get it.
When you are sleeping with someone who might be your long term partner or a casual hook up, you will never regret talking up about contraception. It’s responsible and displays how sexually confident and clued up you are.
The conversation could start off like this this…
“Last night was great, but we should really sort out some emergency contraception…”
I said “we” because the responsibility does not rely solely on the woman, after all it takes two to tango.
ellaOne’s study shared that, in the past the morning after pill might have usually been seen as the woman’s responsibility, but now seven in ten (69%)* feel as though it lies with both people. Nearly half of the men surveyed (47%)* said that they’d go with their sexual partner after a first date to get emergency contraception if needed.
That’s great, but there’s still massive room for improvement, but the best way for a guy to be supportive in this situation is by bringing it up first or offering to contribute. This is no different to how he’d probably pay for condoms or perhaps even a meal on the first date. It’s polite, shows you care and have great morning after manners. Offer to go to the pharmacy with her or even give her a lift. It might be embarrassing for you, but just imagine how she might feel having to go alone.
Speaking of embarrassing, why do many of us turn red in the face when having to pick up emergency contraception after a sexual mishap? Pharmacists see thousands of men and women all the time, for the same or similar issues and it should not be something we are ashamed about. Taking care of your sexual wellbeing should not be attached to shame, as you are taking care of your body and health and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
There are different forms of emergency contraception available. These include the IUD and the morning after pill. The IUD (also commonly known as the coil) is considered the most effective emergency contraceptive method overall. It also provides an ongoing contraceptive solution. However, the IUD fitting takes time and involves a procedure where a trained nurse or doctor will insert the IUD into your uterus.
The other option is the morning after pill. This is an oral method and involves taking a pill after unprotected sex has occurred. You can get the morning after pill from the pharmacy and you don’t need a prescription. ellaOne is the most effective morning after pill available.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need emergency contraception, it’s best to discuss your options with a pharmacist or doctor as soon as possible after unprotected sex has taken place. (Emergency contraception has the best chance of working successfully when it is used as soon as possible after unprotected sex has occurred).
In the past I’ve created Twitter threads where hundreds of women have shared their thoughts and experiences of using emergency contraception. They spoke about how quick and easy the process was, looking for a trustworthy friend to accompany them and the feeling of relief they had after getting it. Many of us have had experiences with emergency contraception ourselves in the past, and I’m sure you’d be surprised to hear how many others have been in a similar situation too.
If you have had a problem with your usual method of contraception, and needed to use emergency contraception, it might be a good time to see if there is another method of contraception that suits you better. Why not go and speak to your doctor or a sexual health nurse about your options? There are several methods to pick from, such as the combined pill, IUD’s, contraceptive implant, contraceptive injection, progesterone pill, contraceptive patch and many others.
It’s beneficial for both men and women to be more clued up on emergency and regular contraception. This shouldn’t only include its use or the options available, but also how to have a healthy discussion about it with a sexual partner. This also helps the topic to become less of a taboo and an engrained part of 21st century morning after dating etiquette!
ellaOne® 30mg tablet contains ulipristal acetate and is indicated for emergency contraception for unprotected sexual intercourse or contraceptive failure. Always read the label.
This blog post was created with ellaOne.
* ellaOne consumer research, conducted by Censuswide in June 2018
among 2,020 heterosexual 17-35 year olds who have had sex before
If you want to see how your own morning after manners score take the Quiz