Daniel understands that women may initially feel strange about buying the morning after pill from a male pharmacist: “There’s possibly an initial sense of embarrassment when ladies come in and there’s a male pharmacist there,” he says, “but I always ask if they want another member of staff to come and chaperone while we’re in the consultation room and they always say no.”
Purchasing the morning after pill is nothing to be ashamed of, but as our My Morning After stories show, many women are worried that they will be judged for it. So what can pharmacists do to put their customers’ minds at ease?
“The first thing I do is try to reassure them straight away. I say: ‘I’m not sitting here to judge you at all and I don’t want to ask anything that’s embarrassing, but I’ve just got to make sure it’s suitable and it’s the best treatment for you’.”
One in four women would rather wait until there was no one else in the pharmacy before going to get the morning after pill to avoid being seen by other customers, according to our research. Some pharmacists, including Daniel, have worked to make the purchase more discrete.
“I always make sure that our till is set to not display the name of the product on the customer side of the screen,” Daniel says, “it’s automatically turned off for emergency contraception so no one else in the shop will see. I always make sure I take it out in a prescription bag, so that patients in the shop can’t see what the customer is buying.”