Morning after pill myths

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Since we wrote our first article on myths about the morning after pill, many women have got in touch to share their #MyMorningAfter stories. When it comes to ending the stigma around emergency contraception, it’s time to stand up and speak out and these women are leading the way.

As we’ve read each of these stories, we’ve seen just how much false information is out there about emergency contraception. So we’re working with real women to set the record straight. We think that all women should have all the facts, in order to feel informed and empowered about their contraceptive choices.

If you want to stand with these trailblazing women and share your story, step forward here.

1. Might as well risk it... FALSE

Did you know that of the women we surveyed who had unprotected sex in the last year, only 27% went to get the morning after pill afterwards?

The other 73% were not planning a pregnancy, they simply thought that they may as well chance it. Newsflash: this is not how biology works!

An unplanned pregnancy is a huge thing to take a gamble on. Rather than taking this risk you can reduce your odds of getting pregnant to about 9 in 1000 if you take ellaOne within 24 hours of unprotected sex.

If you are tempted to risk it to avoid an awkward pharmacy experience, fear being judged by others, or feel intimidated by the whole thing, try reading our collection of MyMorningAfter stories.


2. It’s for young people who don’t know any better… FALSE

Let’s be honest, sometimes we can all get a bit carried away. The myth is that it’s only young people who have accidents.

This is linked to the idea that the morning after pill is an ‘irresponsible’ purchase, but it isn’t. It is a responsible and informed decision for anyone who doesn’t want a baby right now.

Women of any age should feel empowered to make choices about emergency contraception, if they find themselves in a situation where unprotected sex has occurred and they aren’t planning a pregnancy.

#MyMorningAfter stories have come from women of all different ages, many of whom already have children.

If, like this woman, you have a child of breastfeeding age, it is recommended that you wait one week after taking ellaOne before you next breastfeed your baby.

3. It comes with too many side effects… FALSE

Like all medicines, ellaOne can sometimes cause side effects, and whilst many women will not experience any side effects, each woman’s experience will be different. Don’t let the fear of side effects deter you from making a responsible choice to avoid unplanned pregnancy: ellaOne is generally very well tolerated.

There is no evidence that ellaOne has any effect on fertility. In fact, fertility generally returns so quickly after taking ellaOne that we recommend using a barrier method of contraception until your next period.

If you do experience any side effects that worry you, or your next period is more than 7 days late, talk to your pharmacist or GP. More information on side effects can be found here.

‘“I had to be assessed by a chemist and I was a bit scared as I was worried about fertility and side effects, but I didn’t experience any problems in the end.”’
Soumya, 27, London

4. You should feel ashamed about taking it… FALSE

For years, we’ve heard other people repeating the myth that the morning after pill is a shameful purchase.

We’ve always thought that sounded a bit odd, and now many of you are agreeing with us, refusing to be ashamed by speaking candidly about your experiences.

We’re glad that so many of you coming forward with your #MyMorningAfter stories and agreeing that it is time to stand up and speak out, not be shamed into silence.


This is a story that is only just beginning, and we need your help to keep it going. Share your stories with us using the submit button here.

Do you have a story to share? Is there a question we haven’t yet answered? Don’t be shy, get in touch @ellaoneuk or use the hashtag #MyMorningAfter.

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.