The pharmacist wasn’t really asking my boyfriend any questions about what happened

Line illustration of a woman.Written by: Anonymous, 24, Kent

The first time was the night after I lost my virginity. I was literally so paranoid about getting pregnant, there wasn’t even any indication that the condom had failed, I was just paranoid.

I guess I somewhat blame sex education and scare tactics, because whilst it is so important to make sure that young people are aware of the consequences of sex, it is also important that young people know that emergency contraception shouldn’t just be taken “just in case.”

Bear in mind i was 22 and had never had any real sexual encounters before, I simply went to the chemist and the female pharmacist asked me if the contraception had failed and I was like “erm yeah i think so.” She seemed a bit pissed off that I had asked for it. The condom definitely didn’t fail.

Afterwards, I felt a bit stupid knowing I was being a paranoid Pete and I decided to go on hormonal contraception.

The second time I got the morning after pill, I actually needed it. I went on the pill, but wasn’t fully covered because it was so early into taking them. So my boyfriend and I were also using condoms. At that point we were using condoms and they’d broken a couple of times, without any haphazards. This time however, there was.

So off we went to the chemist. It was boxing day, and my mum was asking us, “Why are you going shopping on boxing day?!” Anyway this time, a male pharmacist pulled us into his little office and asked us a series of questions, more on the preventing-this-from-happening-again side of things. I felt a lot more comfortable that my boyfriend was with me, but it seemed to me the pharmacist wasn’t really asking my boyfriend any questions about what happened, but rather me.

I don’t know if that was a good thing or not – did he want to hear my side of the story for reasons of my autonomous body, or was he asking me these questions because he assumed that as a woman it’s my responsibility in making sure this doesn’t happen? I don’t know, but I was only comfortable because my boyfriend was with me.

The final time I took the morning after pill was when I was living abroad. The condom came off and I had to get one. I researched how to ask for it in the language so I didn’t look like a backpacker having one night stands (nothing wrong with that, but the country I was living in has quite traditional values when it comes to the elder generations). Anyway I was with my boyfriend, I go up to the counter and ask in a foreign language and the pharmacist simply pulls the pill out of the drawer and looks directly at my boyfriend as if to say “well pay then!”

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.