I have chosen to take oral emergency contraception once. I think I was 19 and I was at uni. My contraceptive pill lived in my makeup bag, so every morning as I applied my lippy and my liner, I would also take care of my vagina.
I had bought a new makeup bag and transferred the contents, but this change to my routine meant I forgot to take my pill even though I’d had intercourse the night before.
At that time, I didn’t have a full understanding of how the contraceptive pill worked. I read the booklet that came with the medicine, but it felt unclear.
I went to my GP to ask for emergency contraception. They gave me the impression they thought I was a ‘silly girl’ wasting their time when the likelihood of me falling pregnant after missing a pill at the end of that packet was “one in a million”.
My answer to that was, “well, if I am that one in a million, do you want to be the one who adopts the child?”
I got the pill from the pharmacy and I vividly remember walking home past all the little terraced houses in the student area of Leeds, feeling an immense sense of guilt. I felt I had been irresponsible by missing my pill – even though that’s a very human thing to do.
I didn’t understand how the medicine worked so I thought I might be terminating a pregnancy, which is totally wrong. As well as carrying my little paper pharmacy bag, I was bearing a massive, invisible, unnecessary backpack full of guilt – I think I actually cried.
I didn’t feel very supported, aside from my male partner. He was even more worried than I was, because men are taught so little about contraception. If our education had been better, it all could have gone smoother.