Our team's experience taking the morning-after pill
Soooo many of us have spent hours researching the morning-after pill, trying to determine what to expect, and understand if our side effects are normal.
A lot of times we just want someone to share their experience and tell us they got through it, so we know that we’ll be ok. Scrolling through the internet rarely provides the anecdotal hug that we’re craving.
So, we gathered our team’s experiences taking the morning-after pill for you to read. Everyone reacts differently, both emotionally and physically. If you are concerned about side effects from the morning-after pill, or if you have questions, we always recommend talking to your doctor. According to the CDC in 2021, 24.3% of women aged 22–49 years who have ever had sexual intercourse have used emergency contraception. That is 1 in 4 women, so just remember, you’re not alone!
Did the condom really break?
“I was 18 and the only form of birth control I was using was condoms. My boyfriend at the time and I were each other’s first partners and had only been having sex for six months. After having sex one morning, we noticed that there was a lot more fluid on the sheets underneath me than usual and we thought maybe the condom broke. We were so inexperienced and couldn’t tell what happened, but our minds went to the worst places and we rushed to the drugstore to buy Plan B. I was so embarrassed that we went to a store further away from his house to make sure we wouldn’t run into anyone we knew. We bought the pill, I took it in the car, and I waited anxiously all day assuming I would start to feel nauseous or crampy. Luckily, I did not feel any symptoms and I got my period earlier than expected that month so I knew I wasn’t pregnant.
Looking back on this scenario, the condom probably didn’t break and the fluid I saw was probably just from me. I felt so embarrassed and disconnected from myself in the moment that it sent my mind to the extreme. Now that I’m more experienced, I know how to look up questions on my own and act realistically, without stress. If I needed to take emergency contraception now, ten years later, I’d know it was no big deal. Also, I have it on hand in my bathroom (just in case!) and even though I’m on birth control now.”
Unprepared for side effects
“I try to be responsible. Usually that means I try err on the side of caution when it comes to sexual health. Once I figured out there was a small chance that a condom had failed I went online to find options in my area. As a plus size woman in an anxious moment, I was pretty conflicted and confused about my options. After some frantic research, I was able to get a dose for pickup the following day. I was quite relieved once I took the medication. However, I don’t remember being prepared at all for any side effects or potential concerns beyond getting pregnant. The pharmacist didn’t really flag anything or provide any additional instructions.
After a couple weeks though, I definitely noticed changes that were hard to link back at first. It started with a late period, then severe cramps and other period symptoms came without an actual period. I also experienced spotting for the first time, which was concerning since spotting can be an indicator of lots of things, including pregnancy. I went through quite a few confirmation pregnancy tests before I went online looking for information and reassurance. I didn’t find the medical advice I thought I was looking for, but found lots of women online recounting identical experiences and the weeks or months before their usual period returned. It took a couple months for me too, but after waiting anxiously eventually my cycle returned to normal. I definitely wish I’d known what to expect going in. It would have been easier to stay calm.”
Felt a lot of shame
“I took the morning after pill for the first time as a teenager after a broken condom incident. I remember going to my local drugstore after midnight to avoid running into somebody. Anyways I got home and took the pill. I remember some cramping and I took a very long warm bath. Honestly more than anything I remember feeling emotional about the whole thing. I was scared because I didn’t fully understand what I was really doing to my body and I remember feeling like a failure. I also felt so much shame and I remember being very scared about the potential side effects. But regarding side effects, besides some cramping, I don’t remember much but honestly all of the emotions I was feeling may have outweighed anything else.”
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The common theme here is confusion. Each of these women were confused about if they needed it, how to get it, what would happen, and what came next. That’s why we created some quick and easy-to-understand resources about taking the morning-after pill so you can rest assured you’ll be okay the next time you need it.