Whether you went to a Catholic school with the nuns or a liberal non-denominational, having “the talk” has never been easy as a young Irish person.
The focus of most sexual education is purely mechanical, and while contraception is discussed it’s definitely not always an in-depth topic.
That’s why it’s not surprising that new national research of Irish women carried out by HRA Pharma has revealed that 80 percent of Irish women have some serious misconceptions about the morning after pill.
Indeed, 36 percent of Irish women surveyed said that they had heard that the morning after pill works by triggering a “mini-abortion,” which simply isn’t true.
The morning after pill works by delaying an egg’s release, so when the sperm arrives at the fallopian tubes there will be no egg there waiting to consummate the meeting.
It works pretty much just like the regular contraceptive pill, just in an emergency context, but taking the morning after pill wont effect your regular pill either.
Women also seemed to think that the morning after pill is hard to find, with almost a quarter of women viewing the pill as being difficult to access.
The pill is available over the counter at almost all Irish pharmacies, including Boots, and there is no prescription necessary unless you need to get it free on the medical card.
There are also plenty of different types of morning after pills to suit whatever stage of post-coitus you’re at.
I didn’t know that the morning after pill can make you infertile. That’s scary.
— sue-koko (@NessaNess_x) August 5, 2013
One of the most serious misconceptions Irish women have is that taking the morning after pill more than once will make them infertile.
“Emergency contraception has no effect on future fertility,” according to HRA Pharma.
More than one in ten (11 percent) of Irish women surveyed also said that they had heard that emergency contraception can be taken any time after having unprotected sex and will still be effective, but like all things that sound too good to be true, this is.
I had taken the morning after pill, which doesn’t do jack to terminate a pregnancy, but social stigma/depression made me feel guilty.
— Fight me, irl (@GeekyAmazonian) February 20, 2015
The sooner you use emergency contraception after sex, the more effective it will be, and most pills can only be taken up to five days after the big event.
With all of these misconceptions, along with the sky-high price of the pills in Ireland, it’s no wonder that there is still an associated stigma attached to emergency contraceptives.
“If men could get pregnant the morning after pill would be free and come in buffalo wing flavour”
— . (@IsxbellaParis) November 30, 2016