Festival Files: Where Can I Buy The Morning After Pill

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The season of dodgy tan lines, warm pints and well… wellies is upon us. That’s right, the summer holidays marks the return of the Great British Festival season.

Covered in glitter, you dance the day and night away in fields full of revellers to music from your favourite bands. With so many endorphins floating around, is it any surprise that we’re in the mood for love?

Yep: when the sun is up, we love getting down. Sexologist (best job title ever?) Jessica O’Reilly, P.H.D., explained to Glamour magazine that sunshine causes our melatonin levels to drop and because melatonin blocks sex hormones, that means we experience an influx of hormones all convincing us to get hot and heavy.

The lack of a proper shower or fumbling around with a tent isn’t going to stand in the way of chemistry, either. In a survey of almost 1000 female festival-goers, you told us that over a third of you had sex at a festival. In addition, more than half of you said you definitely would have sex at a festival – if the situation occurred.

It’s all summer fun but there is one important question. If you hook up at a festival, and in the heat of the moment have a mishap with your regular method of contraception: where do you go?

Don’t panic: plans always go pear-shaped at festivals. Phone batteries die, groups of friends get separated (ALAN?!) and socks get soaked through. That’s why any festival veteran will tell you: you’ve got to have a back-up plan.

 
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Morning After on Wheels

Introducing The Medicine Man. He (James Powell) is a one stop shop: a mobile pharmacy who pops up at festivals all over the UK selling everything from sun-cream to ellaOne. He’s well on his way to becoming a headline act, with his festival-ready pharmacy featured in NME and Cosmopolitan.

We chatted with James at the Barclaycard British Summertime Festival in Hyde Park:

“For emergency contraception, we have an area behind the stand which we make a cool, safe, clean environment. We’ll ask them the relevant questions, in an area where they can sit down and feel relaxed, without worrying about being overheard.”

“One of our key roles is educating people – especially at festivals with a lot of younger people.”

“We sell up to 100 tablets at any event, so taking the morning-after pill at a festival is more common than you might think. The presence of the Medicine Man alone is proof that organisers and festival-goers are more responsible than they often get credit for. It goes to show that there is nothing to be embarrassed about, we’re here to listen and to help.”

Be prepared

If the Medicine Man isn’t at a festival you’re attending this summer, there are other methods of getting emergency contraception. You could buy the morning-after pill in advance and take it with you in your travel bag. You can even order the morning-after pill online or just pick it up from your pharmacy.

Buying the pill in advance is especially useful if you’re heading abroad and don’t fancy relying on your GCSE in Spanish to talk to a pharmacist. It also means that if you need emergency contraception, you only need to travel as far as your bag: allowing you to take it ASAP in the window that it is most effective.

Emma Marsh, brand manager for ellaOne says, “If your regular method of contraception has let you down, or unprotected sex has taken place, festival goers will be happy to know that emergency contraception is available close-by without the need for a prescription. Particularly as it should be taken as soon as possible after sex.”

This Festival Season don’t let worrying about contraception ruin your vibe. Get out there, have fun and remember: we’ve got your back when things don’t go to plan.

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ellaOne contains ulipristal acetate. Always read the label.

Leo Kent