I had read that ellaOne may be more effective

Illustrated portrait of a woman.

Written by: Anonymous, 27, London

After years of being on the contraceptive pill, I decided to stop taking it last year for a few health reasons. My partner of 9 years and I had used condoms ever since, with no problems.

One morning, after sex, the condom slipped off. Not ideal. Although it certainly wouldn’t have been a bad thing for us to fall pregnant, we had obviously been taking steps to avoid pregnancy through using condoms and so taking emergency contraception made sense for us.

I headed to the pharmacy a few hours later and asked specifically for ellaOne. My partner didn’t come with me. I spoke to the pharmacist, who asked why I wanted ellaOne specifically and I explained I had read that ellaOne may be more effective.*

*Verify at https://www.ellaone.co.uk/verify/

He agreed that ellaOne would be the recommended option for me and asked me a few standard questions regarding current medication, whether I’d taken it before, advised me on what to do next (come back if I vomited, pregnancy test in 3 weeks and STD test if not with a regular partner etc.) and sold ellaOne to me with zero judgement. Although I was not taken to a private area, he and other staff members were very discreet, understanding and helpful. I was nervous after a stressful morning deciding what to do but was made to feel very comfortable.

It was sold to me for approx £36. While I am happy to pay and am grateful for the option and freedom to be able to do so, I do wonder how teenage women for example (I am 27) would sometimes manage this. But then, there are generic brands available at a lower cost and just as easily.

I’m very grateful I had this option and felt no stigma other than my own nerves/slight embarrassment when buying and taking ellaOne. As silly as it sounds, it actually felt similar to buying condoms for the first time as a teenager! So it really wasn’t difficult at all, just a little awkward having to ask for it over the counter.

I hope others also have this positive experience when dealing with a potentially stressful situation. Be totally honest with the pharmacist so they can advise you on the best method for your situation.

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.