Image via MTV.
I’m going to put my hand up and say I’ve had the “morning after pill”. The experience of walking into the pharmacy, having to fill out a form, and then feeling an incredible sense of shame and guilt afterwards — it still haunts me.
There are many misconceptions about the “morning after pill”. For one, that name is incorrect — it’s actually called emergency contraception.
According to Christina Inness, a family planning nurse from Family Planning Victoria, there are a few reasons for the existence of these myths.
“I think some of it is that people are afraid of the side effects of it, and that they think it will effect their fertility, and that it is an abortion pill. There are also taboos around taking it, as people think having the option of having emergency contraception can encourage unprotected sex. Evidence shows that this is completely incorrect.”
So — that's one myth busted. Here are some other common questions and misunderstandings surrounding emergency contraception. To say this information has made me angry that I've felt so much shame from my experience for so long is an understatement.
1. What is it exactly?
"Emergency contraceptive pills delay and prevent ovulation. The pill has become much more simple in recent years, a lot easier to take, in terms of side effects. It is now manufactured as one hormone (in Australia), which is Progestin, a synthetic hormone which your body naturally has," Christina explains.
2. Is it an abortion pill?
This is important: emergency contraception is not an abortion pill. "Because there is a pill you can take that induces a miscarriage, emergency contraception has somehow become confused with being an abortion pill. People don't realise how it works - it is a common misconception," Christina says.