Being intimate with your sexual partner can be an enjoyable and wonderful feeling,
But it can also be tricky, hear me out for a minute. As great as the experience may be, there are times we might find ourselves regretting it. Not regretting the sex, but the fact that a condom wasn’t used or that it slipped off, broke and nothing was done about it in the heat of the time.
During sex, that euphoric feeling can take over as you get lost in the moment, because, sometimes contraception isn’t always what’s on our mind during sex.
So what happens now?
Well, admittedly, I’ve found myself in this position before and I’m sure many people who are reading this have too. Guys have probably kicked themselves and panicked about the situation, whilst women have dreaded thinking about what they know they need to do next… Sort out emergency contraception.
According to a new research, which surveyed over 2,000 17-35 year old South Africans, 61% of people saw that offering to make tea the morning after sex was seen as the height of great mannersi. Allowing your sexual partner to have a lie in was also good manners.
But what about when a condom hasn’t been used? Yes, a cup of tea and a lie in is nice, but discussing emergency contraception is even better. You can even do both together!
After being sexually active for a while, I’ve learnt and understood how important communication is, both when having sex and after the act. I always made it clear when I was and wasn’t using an ongoing method of contraception like the pill, and would be proactive in raising the issue to ensure a method of contraception was in place when having sex. If a contraceptive mishap did happen, either I usually agreed to split the cost of the emergency contraceptive or I’ve gone with a partner to go and get it.
When you are sleeping with someone who might be your long term partner or a casual hook up, you will never regret talking up about contraception. It’s responsible and displays how sexually confident and clued up you are.
The conversation could start off like this this…
“Last night was great, but we should really sort out some emergency contraception…”
I said “we” because the responsibility does not rely solely on the woman, after all it takes two to tango.
The study shared that, in the past the morning after pill might have usually been seen as the woman’s responsibility, but now seven in ten (69%) feel as though it lies with both people. Nearly half of the men surveyed (47%) said that they’d go with their sexual partner after a first date to get emergency contraception if needed.
That’s great, but there’s still massive room for improvement, but the best way for a guy to be supportive in this situation is by bringing it up first or offering to contribute. This is no different to how he’d probably pay for condoms or perhaps even a meal on the first date. It’s polite, shows you care and have great morning after manners. Offer to go to the pharmacy with her or even give her a lift. It might be embarrassing for you, but just imagine how she might feel having to go alone.
Speaking of embarrassing, why do many of us turn red in the face when having to pick up emergency contraception after a sexual mishap? Pharmacists see thousands of men and women all the time, for the same or similar issues and it should not be something we are ashamed about. Taking care of your sexual wellbeing should not be attached to shame, as you are taking care of your body and health and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
There are different forms of emergency contraception available. These include the IUD and the morning after pill. The IUD (also commonly known as the coil) is considered the most effective emergency contraceptive method overall. It also provides an ongoing contraceptive solution. However, the IUD fitting takes time and involves a procedure where a trained nurse or doctor will insert the IUD into your uterus.
The other option is the morning after pill. This is an oral method and involves taking a pill after unprotected sex has occurred. You can get the morning after pill from the pharmacy and you don’t need a prescription. ellaOne is the most effective morning after pill available.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need emergency contraception, its best to discuss your options with a pharmacist or doctor as soon as possible after unprotected sex has taken place. (Emergency contraception has the best chance of working successfully when it is used as soon as possible after unprotected sex has occurred).
In the past I’ve created Twitter threads where hundreds of women have shared their thoughts and experiences of using emergency contraception. They spoke about how quick and easy the process was, looking for a trustworthy friend to accompany them and the feeling of relief they had after getting it. Many of us have had experiences with emergency contraception ourselves in the past, and I’m sure you’d be surprised to hear how many others have been in a similar situation too.
If you have had a problem with your usual method of contraception, and needed to use emergency contraception, it might be a good time to see if there is another method of contraception that suits you better. Why not go and speak to your doctor or a sexual health nurse about your options? There are several methods to pick from, such as the combined pill, IUD’s, contraceptive implant, contraceptive injection, progesterone pill, contraceptive patch and many others.
It’s beneficial for both men and women to be more clued up on emergency and regular contraception. This shouldn’t only include its use or the options available, but also how to have a healthy discussion about it with a sexual partner. This also helps the topic to become less of a taboo and an engrained part of 21st century morning after dating etiquette!