Morning After

Posted on | February 2, 2010 | 7 Comments |

On Sunday morning I went to the pharmacy to get the morning-after pill.  It’s only the second time I’ve ever needed to ask for one (the last time was eight years ago). Once again, it was a reasonably easy process, and I count myself lucky to live where I do.

Why did I need it? The night before the condom had come off.

I wasn’t particularly freaked out about it. In fact, I was a little amused (at the situation), and a little annoyed (at myself, for not holding onto the base of the condom as I went to pull myself off Hylas and collapse). I wasn’t concerned about STD’s – he and I had both been tested a few months earlier, and our other partners also get tested regularly. No, I was most concerned about possible pregnancy.

So Sunday morning I ambled off to the pharmacy closest to Hylas’ house, and asked for the morning-after pill. The very pleasant pharmacist took me off to a small room and closed the door, and then she asked me some questions:

Was it for me? Yes.

What happened to cause me to need it? The condom came off, post-ejaculation.

When was my last period? It had begun 12 days earlier (apparently day 14 is generally the most fertile. Eep.)

Was I currently pregnant or breast-feeding? Hell no!

What other medications was I on? That was a hard one – I take a lot of different medicines and supplements – all doctor-recommended or prescribed – for my migraine and depression. It took me a while to remember them all.

It wasn’t an interrogation, it was all needed information, and it wasn’t asked inappropriately or judgementally. Which is good!  And when it was over, I went back out to the main area of the chemist to wait, and 1o minutes later I had what I came for.

It’s not much to look at. One tablet, alone in the centre of a blister-pack. One pill that cost $45, but didn’t require a visit to the doctor, or a trip to five different pharmacies to find one to serve me.  One pill that – for some people – causes nausea and vomiting and all sorts of unpleasant side-effects, but for me made no difference at all.

Except it means I shouldn’t get pregnant. And that’s a lot to be thankful for.

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7 Responses to “Morning After”

  1. Wendy Blackheart
    February 3rd, 2010 @ 4:28 am

    That’s the most overwhelmingly underwhelming ‘going to get plan b’ story I’ve ever heard. But I live in the states, so there is that. But it should be that simple and routine everywhere!

  2. Dee
    February 3rd, 2010 @ 10:36 am

    It really should – it blows my mind how difficult it can be to get in other places. Viva New Zealand!

    xx Dee

  3. Britni TheVadgeWig
    February 3rd, 2010 @ 11:55 am

    Thanks for writing about this. I wish more people would. And I’m so jealous at how easy it was for you to acquire!

    Because of the headache, if it was with a random partner, I would procure a Plan B that next day or two. If it was a serious partner (and I kind of hate to say this), the hassle here is so great that I wouldn’t, and if I ended up pregnant, I’d have the abortion.


  4. Aurore
    February 3rd, 2010 @ 2:16 pm

    I have to say that my one and only experience, almost two years ago now, was like yours: hassle-free, judgement-free, no interrogation and I was treated with care and respect. I was unbelievably nervous but if I had to do it again – I wouldn’t hesitate.

    I noticed the last time I went into the drugstore that they actually put a Plan B box on the shelf right there beside the condoms with a sticker telling you to ask the pharmacist. Brilliant I think considering it’s very near a university.

  5. Dee
    February 3rd, 2010 @ 4:49 pm

    Britni, it continues to sadden me how challenging it can be to get Emergency Contraception in the US. It’s one hell of a hassle when abortion is less of a problem to access than Plan B is!

    Aurore, I am so glad your experience was easy like mine. That’s how it should be! I like that your pharmacy it is open and easy to find, as well. Hooray for sensible chemists :)

    xx Dee

  6. Dana
    February 4th, 2010 @ 12:42 pm

    Yup, I’ve taken the morning after pill a few times. Never had a problem, even long enough ago that I had to see a dr (drop in clinic, was much like an expensive version of the chemist interview).

    Last time I got a pained look from the woman taking my money, but the pharmacist was nice and she seemed sour in general. lol

    I only found out how fucked it can be in the US relatively recently, and it makes me so angry. I love New Zealand, and hope like hell that National doesn’t ruin it too much – or potentially, the watered down idiots that pass for Labour these days.

  7. Dee
    February 4th, 2010 @ 2:24 pm

    We’re pretty lucky to live where we are, Dana. Although it should be this easy everywhere!

    xx Dee


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