Ask Ella: Can men buy the morning after pill?
So you’ve just had sex and everything is fine until panic hits you like a crate of kittens. Maybe the condom broke, or you can’t remember when you took your last pill, or perhaps you got carried away and didn’t use any contraception: whatever happened, if you’ve had unprotected sex, there’s a chance you could become pregnant.
If you do not want to have a baby right now, you may decide to get the morning after pill. If you don’t fancy getting it yourself and the guy you’re with is one of the good ones, he may offer to get it for you.
Can men buy the morning after pill for their partner? We spoke to Laura Jones, clinical lead at Assured Pharmacy, to find out.
Can my boyfriend buy the morning after pill for me?
“The simple answer is yes. However, many things have to be considered when a supply is being made,” says Laura.
While there isn’t a specific law against men buying the morning after pill, pharmacists have a duty of care which means they may have to see the person who is actually taking the pill in person.
“Firstly, there are a number of medical questions that need to be answered and these may not be that straightforward for anyone other than the patient to answer,” says Laura, “questions relating to BMI, other medical conditions or the chance they may already be pregnant. And this doesn’t just apply to men – anyone that is not the patient would face the same obstacles. ”
If anyone, whether they be a friend, boyfriend or husband, is buying medication for someone else, they may not be aware of that person’s potential health conditions or current medication.
This means they may not be able to answer the pharmacists questions accurately. It’s really important the pharmacist has all the information they need so they are able to give the patient the medication that’s right for them.
Safeguarding and the morning after pill
While going to the pharmacy and basically announcing that you’ve had sex can understandably feel daunting, the pharmacist would always prefer to see the person taking the morning after pill in person.
They need to make sure they know who is receiving the pill and that the person is taking it of their own free will.
“The customer’s safety needs to be considered, the pharmacist needs to be sure that the woman wants the medication and that she is not being coerced in any way. Why can the patient not come in themselves?” says Laura.
“The pharmacist may want to speak to the customer on the phone at the very least to establish some of this information,” she continues.
While there may be a very understandable reason that you would not want to go to the pharmacy to get the morning after pill in person - such as your work schedule, feeling unwell or feeling embarrassed - whether or not the pharmacist is willing to give your partner the morning after pill is at their discretion. Some may be satisfied with a phone consultation, but others may not.
Therefore, if you are able to go and get emergency contraception in person it is the quickest and easiest way to get it, particularly if you want to take it as soon as possible. Remember that your partner can always come with you to get it if that would make you feel more comfortable.
Getting the morning after pill is nothing to be ashamed of
It might be easier to ask your partner or friend to get the morning after pill for you, but you shouldn’t be worried about getting it yourself. Pharmacists are not there to judge you or make you feel bad. They are there to help you.
“Asking about the morning after pill should not be embarrassing. All pharmacists want to make sure that a woman gets the treatment that she needs,” says Laura, “most pharmacies now have a consultation room as well so you don’t need to have this conversation at the pharmacy counter.”
If you are unable to go to the pharmacy, you can also order ellaOne for same day or next day delivery via ellaOne direct. You will be asked to answer six simple questions - such as what medication you may be taking and when you had unprotected sex- via a discreet online questionnaire to ensure that ellaOne is the right choice for you.
If there are no issues, you will be able to order and pay for the pill online for delivery. Your pill will arrive in unmarked packaging to protect your privacy.
Have you ever taken the morning after pill? Share your story below and help us show the world that it is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of.
*Laura Jones does not endorse any medicinal products or brands.