To my Trans folks who have the ability to get pregnant

The morning after pill is your friend. Whether or not you’re using gender-affirming hormone-therapy, emergency contraception is an option if you’re worried that you may become pregnant.

Your ability to get pregnant has zero to do with your gender identity if you don’t want it to. As a Transmasc individual, the fact that I can conceive doesn’t dictate my gender identity – it’s just something my body is capable of! Your reproductive organs do not determine your gender identity. I’m still nonbinary, regardless of whether I menstruate and have children or not. And the same goes for using emergency contraception. 

I know how it feels to experience the dread in your stomach when asking your local pharmacist for emergency contraception. The looks they give you, the confusion because they see a masculine individual in front of them, the misgendering that follows. The feeling of foreboding just before approaching the counter; preparing yourself for the ordeal you’re about to embark on can be exhausting. However, I’ve also had amazing experiences obtaining the morning after pill. Enjoying the confusion on the pharmacist’s face as this small Trans boy stands in front of them, knowing all the ins and outs of how to use the pill and smiling as they hand me the white paper bag with the green cross on it. 

Unfortunately, the way emergency contraception is discussed is still heavily gendered towards women, meaning for those Trans masculine, Nonbinary or Gender-diverse folks, it can take a lot of courage to seek out the morning after pill. Sex education and the discussion around emergency contraception is focused on a heteronormative experience, assuming that the person seeking the morning after pill is in a heterosexual relationship with a cisgender man. This isn’t necessarily the case at all! Folks who seek out the morning after pill can identify as any sexuality, being intimate with anyone of any gender identity. 

My partner is bisexual and I’m Transmasc Nonbinary – our relationship is anything BUT heterosexual – yet I still need to be able to access and use emergency contraception if I experience contraceptive failure or have unprotected sex, because pregnancy is still a possibility for me. That doesn’t change my sexuality or gender identity in any shape or form.

The queerest of individuals in the queerest of relationships may still decide to use emergency contraception! 

If you feel comfortable and confident enough to do so, you can correct the pharmacist or doctor who is giving you the morning after pill and ask them to use gender neutral language. Again, this is something that takes a lot of courage to do. I came out as nonbinary to my local GP, heart pounding, sweat dripping under my binder, but it was a really euphoric experience for me and since then I always correct doctors when discussing anything sex-related. 

But if you’re seeking emergency contraception on a one-off trip then it may not be worth the hassle – some battles just aren’t worth the emotional toil and that’s totally up to you (and is totally valid!)

If you want to avoid these situations altogether, you can order the morning after pill online, cutting out that awkward and dysphoria-inducing face to face conversation with a pharmacist. Postage is discreet, and that’s reassuring if you’re worried about being ‘outed’ to your neighbours or roommates etc. – which again may be another hurdle for Trans individuals who aren’t ‘out’ to others.

But let’s go back and start at the beginning – so you want to use emergency contraception to help prevent an unplanned pregnancy and you’re Trans… Now what? First, it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t be ashamed or embarrassed. Trans folks can have pregnancy scares just like everyone else and it’s totally valid to feel a little nervous. 

Contraception fails sometimes, it happens to a lot of folks, and it even happens to us sex educators! Second, you must see a doctor, pharmacist or visit a sexual health clinic as soon as possible. This is because emergency birth control has a window of effectiveness: the sooner, the better! 

This is also a perfect time to remind you that items such as pregnancy tests also have zero to do with your gender identity and solely to do with your reproductive organs. I always try to keep a few spare tests at home just in case, to help ease my nerves but again, buying items such as pregnancy tests can be super dysphoria-inducing at times. I personally try to buy them as part of my weekly shop, so they are almost lost amongst all the household items and veg. Plus, who knows who I’m buying the test for! It could be for my friend, or a sibling, or anyone!

At the time of writing this I am trying to get a prescription for Testosterone (T), and knowing that I can still use the morning after pill if I decide to brings a world of comfort. Taking T does not stop you from getting pregnant – T is not a contraceptive – so if you’re being intimate with someone who could impregnate you and you don’t want to get pregnant, using contraception is vital and having access to emergency contraception if things don’t go to plan is also important.

Having safer sex regardless of your gender identity or who you’re having sex with is important for everyone involved. If you’re intimate on a regular basis with someone / folks who can impregnate you, seeking out a contraception that you can use that isn’t an emergency contraception is a really good idea – but do chat with your doctor about how different types of birth control can be affected by T!

Or, if you’re like me and you love using condoms, knowing that you can access emergency contraception if the condom breaks and that the morning after pill won’t be impacted by T is a super comforting feeling. 

You’re still Trans, Nonbinary or Gender-diverse if you use emergency contraception.

From one Transmasc using EC to another,

Dee x