Vlogger Hannah Witton discusses emergency contraception and her experiences with taking the morning after pill.
Hannah gives an honest and open account of her experiences of the morning after pill, plus sorts the facts from the fiction.
The video was brought to you in collaboration with LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor.
Okay, oh my god, I’m so hungry, my tummy is rumbling.
Hey guys, welcome to episode seven of The Hormone Diaries.This episode is actually sponsored by LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor. It is an online service where you can get tests, assessments, treatments, and products from doctors.
One of the things that you can get online from them is the morning after pill and they’ve asked me to make a whole episode on The Hormone Diaries about the morning after pill because there’s loads of information out there and I don’t think everyone fully knows what the morning after pill is and how it works. So we’re gonna talk about that.
First of all, the reason why you may need the morning after pill or emergency contraception is if you’ve had unprotected sex and you do not want to get pregnant. Maybe you didn’t use a condom or maybe your chosen method of birth control has failed you. In this case, you made need emergency contraception.
I have been in this situation before and definitely panicked and that doesn’t help. It can be quite scary when you realise that your contraception has failed you. Either the condom has broken or you realise that you forgot to take your pill. But emergency contraception exists and is very easy to get hold of.
At the moment, in the UK, there are two types of the morning after pill.
There is ellaOne and Levonelle, and I have no idea if I’m pronouncing that correctly. ellaOne can be taken up to five days after you’ve had unprotected sex. It is most effective the sooner you take it and it stays up to 95% effective over the five days. Levonelle can be taken up to three days after unprotected sex. It is most effective within 12 hours, it is 95% effective in the first 24 hours and then it goes down to 85% effective within 48 hours and 58% effective within 72 hours. So you’ll want to take it as soon as possible.
So how does it work?
The morning after pill works by either preventing or delaying ovulation. Depending on which one you take, it works slightly differently. Levonelle contains a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone, which effects your ability to ovulate. So if there’s no ovulation and there’s no egg there, it means there’s nothing for the sperm to fertilise. ellaOne stops the progesterone in your body from working and so it delays ovulation. Sperm can live inside the womb for up to seven days so if ovulation is delayed, then all that sperm will die before it’s possible to fertilise an egg.
When you take the morning after pill, your usual contraception won’t be effective straight away, like the pill, or the implant, so make sure that you use extra protection, like condoms or just have no sex.
But it is important to remember that it is not an alternative to regular contraception.
It is for emergency one-off use only. Also, emergency contraception does not protect you from STIs, so if you have had unprotected sex, then it’s best to go and get tested.
As well as the emergency contraception, Lloyds Online Doctor also provide sexual health services. They can deliver to you an STI testing kits, so you can do it all yourself at home.
So, I’ve taken the morning after pill twice in my life, once when I was 16 and once when I was 17.
It was before I was on the pill and on both occasions, it was because the condom broke. To be honest, it was so long ago, I can barely remember the details of what happened and how I got the morning after pill. I think the first time, it was in the evening, so all the shops were closed and so it was the next day when we went to go and get the morning after pill and my boyfriend actually came with me to go get it, which was so great of him. The second time was in the middle of the afternoon
so we could just go straight out and go and get the morning after pill, very easy.
I didn’t have any side effects, which I’m very lucky for. I was ready to start feeling really nauseous and just sick and horrible. I felt normal, I felt fine. I haven’t had to take it since because when I was 17, I went on the pill and so I had my birth control covered. And also, I discovered lube, so no more broken condoms.
So when I was a teenager and I needed the morning after pill, I’d actually heard so many urban myths about it and was quite scared about taking it because I didn’t know all of the facts and so I want to share with you some of those myths and then debunk them.
Gonna debunk some morning after pill myths, yeah.
The morning after pill is the only emergency contraception. False, there is also the IUD which is the copper coil which is also a form of regular contraception. You can get the IUD put in up to five days after you’ve had unprotected sex and then it continues to work just like normal contraception.
You have to take the morning after pill the morning after. False, you can take it any time of day. If you’ve had sex in the afternoon, don’t wait until the next morning to take it, take it as soon as possible because it is most effective.
Taking the morning after pill is the same as getting an abortion. False, the morning after pill prevents pregnancy, so it prevents an egg from being fertilised or it prevents the fertilised egg from implanting in the womb. An abortion, on the other hand, terminates a pregnancy.
It makes you infertile. False. Yes, it effects your temporary ability to conceive, but no evidence suggests that it effects your fertility.
It is hard to get hold of. False, you can get it for free from loads of place and you can even buy it online from LloydsPharmacy. Easy peasy.
Okay, so there are some side effects from taking the morning after pill, but they are rare so most people won’t experience them, like myself and they are only temporary and they tend to not be that severe. But they can include irregular bleeding, stomach pain, headache, and nausea, but if you do throw up within like three hours after taking the morning after pill you may need to take it again because it might not have fully gotten into your bloodstream. You may have to take it again or get an IUD put it, but if that happens then just let your doctor know.
So massive thanks to LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor for sponsoring this episode of The Hormone Diaries. I think it’s really great to have online services like this because it means that more people to these kinds of treatments and help and support, ’cause not everyone is comfortable talking in person about some of these things and also might not have the time to go in to see a doctor so you can do it all online. It’s discrete and it can give you that independence and empowerment over your general health and sexual health.
So if you need emergency contraception, it’s super duper and there are just three steps:
- Step one is online registration and consultation. So you fill out a form requesting that you want the morning after pill and it’ll ask you a bunch of questions like when you had unprotected sex, have you taken it before, are you pregnant, other medical history, allergies, et cetera. And then you register so you get your patient record.
- Step two, GP assessment and advice. If you fill out the form on a weekday between 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM, they will get back to you within an hour and basically what they’re doing is assessing if you are eligible to be given the morning after pill.
- Step three, approval and collection. So once your request has been approved, you can just go and collect the morning after pill from your nearest LloydsPharmacy or Sainsbury’s.
So easy, super duper easy. I mean you could probably just still be in bed, post-sex, filling out the form.
You can also request to get the morning after pill in advance so you have on in your home,
just in case, just in case, but remember it is for emergencies only.
Thank you guys so much for watching, I will leave a link in the description where you can check out LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor and they also have loads of resources on there about the morning after pill, about sexual health if you want any more information on it.
Please give the video a thumbs up if you enjoyed it and let me know in the comments your thoughts on the morning after pill. Do you have any stories that you’re willing to share with us all, that would be great.
And don’t forget to subscribe because I make new videos every week and I’ll see you soon.