If you’ve had a contraceptive slip-up and are worried about getting pregnant, don’t panic. Here are some of your options for accessing the morning after pill
If you’re having (heterosexual) sex, one of the most important things you need to do (beyond getting enthusiastic consent) is sort yourself out with a suitable contraceptive option. There are loads of different kinds to choose from, so you have a variety of choices for preventing a pregnancy and avoiding sexually transmitted infections.
Most contraceptives (we don’t count the pull-out method) are highly effective at preventing a pregnancy, but sometimes things can go a bit wrong – perhaps your condom split, or you forgot to take one of your pills.
You can take the morning-after pill up to 72 hours after having unprotected sex to stop getting pregnant. But the pill will be more effective the sooner you take it – so if you need to get hold of one, here’s a list of some of the places you can go.
Some GP surgeries supply the morning after pill, so it could be worth ringing your doctor will be able to supply you with the morning after pill, and can talk through your contraceptive options if you’re considering switching up on your method of choice.
If your doctor isn’t able to supply the pill, or you don’t feel comfortable talking to them about your emergency options, another place you can go is a sexual health or GUM clinic. These places could also fit you with an IUD, which acts as an emergency contraceptive. It’s a good idea to get to your local clinic early, as slots can fill up fast!
Walk-in centres and minor injuries units also offer the morning-after pill, but may not be able to fit you with an emergency IUD. It’s a good idea to get there as early as possible, and be prepared to wait a while to be seen.
If you aren’t able to get to a GP or sexual health clinic, you can also get the morning-after pill from Boots. Many stores have a pharmacy service, where you can have a medical consultation and get the pill for free, or you can buy it over the counter.
However, if you’re under the age of 16, you won’t be able to buy most brands of morning-after pill without a prescription from a doctor, so bear that in mind.
Other pharmacies will also be able to supply plan-B; you can look for your nearest one here.
Superdrug also sells the morning-after pill and is one of the places that stocks it for the cheapest price if you aren’t able to obtain it for free.
If you aren’t using a regular method of contraception, it might be worth thinking about one to protect yourself from a pregnancy that you aren’t ready for.
So, if you’re going to pick up a morning-after pill, it could also be a good idea to discuss your contraceptive options with a GP, nurse, or sexual health clinician. These services are free and completely confidential – so why not take advantage?