Why do some women feel embarrassed about taking the morning after pill?

Why do some women feel embarrassed about taking the morning after pill? This is the question ellaOne recently asked women on the streets of London for the second instalment of the ellaOne question.

The ellaOne question, a series of videos in which we ask women questions about the morning after pill, is trying to get to the bottom of the stigma which still surrounds emergency contraception, so we can change the narrative and empower women to make the right choice for them without fear of being judged.

Emma Marsh, senior brand manager at ellaOne, says: “Women should not be judged or shamed for trying to protect themselves against unplanned pregnancy. The stigma around the morning after pill, and around female bodies in general, needs to stop. By speaking openly and honestly about emergency contraception, on the streets of London no less, we want to challenge the stigma and change the narrative about the morning after pill.”

In a recent survey by ellaOne, 58% of women surveyed said they felt embarrassed or awkward of taking the morning after pill. We also found that one in eight women would go to another town to get the morning after pill to avoid running into anyone they knew. A quarter of women surveyed also said they would wait until the pharmacy was empty before buying emergency contraception.

These findings highlight the lingering stigma which makes people feel bad for taking action if their regular contraception fails – or if they got carried away in the moment – and they don’t want to get pregnant.

To end the judgment of women who choose to lessen their risk of unplanned pregnancy, we need to start an open conversation about the morning after pill, myth bust harmful misconceptions and show people everywhere that they are not alone in this experience.

If you have taken the morning after pill, please share your story below and help show others that they have nothing to be ashamed of.

ellaOne® 30mg film-coated tablet contains ulipristal acetate and is indicated for emergency contraception within 120 hours (5 days) of unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. Always read the label.