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Emergency Contraception


When to Take the Morning After Pill

Posted Wednesday 26 August 2020 12:00 by Harman Bhamra in Emergency Contraception

Do you know when to take the morning after pill in order to maximize its effectiveness?

The morning after pill is an effective emergency contraceptive that’s designed to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. Studies show that 20% or 1 in every 5 women in the country between ages 18 and 35 take the morning after pill at least once every year.

The morning after pill should not be used as a regular contraceptive. Being an emergency contraceptive, it should only be taken if the sex was unprotected or if your contraception failed (e.g. you missed your pill, split condom, etc.).

When is the right time to take the morning after pill?

Express Pharmacy stocks three types of morning after pills. Namely: Levonelle, ellaOne, and Richter. All have different windows of effectiveness.

Levonelle

Levonelle is a type of emergency hormonal contraception. It was licensed in the UK in June 2004. Levonelle’s active ingredient, levonorgestrel, works by preventing your ovaries from releasing an egg. It also helps prevent the sperm from fertilizing any egg that may have been released by your ovaries prior to unprotected sex.

When to take Levonelle

Levonelle must be taken within 72 hours (3 days) of unprotected intercourse. Studies show that it’s most effective if taken within 12 hours of unprotected sex. If taken within 24 hours, Levonelle can stop up to 95% of unwanted pregnancies.

How to use Levonelle

Take one tablet of Levonelle orally within 72 hours of unprotected sexual intercourse. Take a replacement dose if you vomited within 2 hours of taking the medication.

ellaOne

Another type of emergency hormonal contraception is ellaOne. This prescription-only medication has an active ingredient called ulipristal acetate which inhibits or delays ovulation. This means that your ovaries will not release an egg for the sperm to fertilize during unprotected sex.

When to take ellaOne

Like all emergency contraceptives, ellaOne is most effective when taken as early as possible. Studies show that ellaOne can be effective if taken within 120 hours (5 days) after unprotected sexual intercourse.

How to use ellaOne

Take one tablet of ellaOne orally within 120 hours of unprotected sex. If vomiting occurs within 3 hours of taking the tablet, take another dose. You can take ellaOne with or without food.

We don’t recommend using ellaOne again within the same menstrual cycle. If you have an active sex life, make sure to use other forms of contraception until your next period.

Richter

Like the previous two, Richter is also an emergency hormonal contraceptive. It also contains levonorgestrel --- the same active ingredient as Levonelle. Richter works by preventing or delaying your ovulation. It also prevents pregnancy by keeping the sperm from fertilizing an egg that may have been released by your ovaries prior to unprotected intercourse.

When to take Richter

Like Levonelle, Richter must be taken within 72 hours of sexual intercourse. The sooner, the better. This emergency contraception is known to prevent 84% of unwanted pregnancies if taken within its effectiveness window.

How to use Richter

Take one tablet of Richter orally within 72 hours of unprotected sex. Ideally, within the first 12 hours. If you vomited within 3 hours of taking this after morning pill, take another dose.

We don’t recommend using Richter as your regular contraceptive. Don’t take another dose of Richter until your next menstrual cycle. If you plan on having sex before your next period, make sure to use other forms contraceptives like a condom to avoid unwanted pregnancy.

Frequently asked questions about the morning after pill

Is the morning after pill safe?

Millions of people in the UK have taken a morning after pill at least once a year. There have been no reports of serious complications involving after morning pills so these drugs are generally safe.

Some common side effects of after morning pills include:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain
  • Painful period

These side effects are usually mild and will go away on their own after some time.

Can I take the morning after pill regularly?

While taking the morning after pill as needed will not hurt you, we don’t recommend using it as your main contraceptive. Why? Because it’s not as effective as other forms of birth control and they are also more expensive than your regular pills.


How Effective Is ellaOne at Preventing Pregnancy?

Posted Friday 21 August 2020 10:00 by Harman Bhamra in Emergency Contraception

It can be hard to find the best contraceptive for you, but if you’re curious about ellaOne, you’re in the right place.

EllaOne is a morning-after pill designed to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. It is considered to be the most effective morning after pill in Europe - but just how effective is it at preventing pregnancy?

How effective is ellaOne?

EllaOne’s mechanism of action is actually very simple. It works by delaying ovulation if it has not already happened. This means that the sperm waiting in your fallopian tubes will not be able to meet an egg which they can fertilise. Eventually, they’ll die out.

Like all contraceptive pills, ellaOne is not guaranteed to be 100% effective -- especially if you have already ovulated. For the highest chance of success, take ellaOne as soon as possible after unprotected sex. If you decide to have sex after you’ve taken this after-morning pill, we strongly recommend that you use condoms and other methods of contraception until your next period.

Has anyone got pregnant after taking ellaOne?

Yes, but the percentage of women who got pregnant after taking ellaOne is very small. According to this article from the BBC, approximately 0.6 to 2.6 per cent of women who take the after-morning pill after unprotected sex still get pregnant.

You have to remember that after-morning pills don’t work if you have already ovulated once you have had unprotected sex. So, knowing when you ovulate is key to maximizing the effects of ellaOne. Usually, ovulation happens about two weeks before your period.

What happens after taking ellaOne?

Like all types of treatments, ellaOne also has its own side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Feeling sick
  • Headache
  • Painful period
  • Abdominal pain

Most of these are pretty mild and will go away on their own. One thing you need to keep in mind is that these symptoms are also signs of pregnancy. Most women who take ellaOne don’t suffer any of these side effects. If you experienced one of these coupled by a lighter, heavier, or missed period, take a pregnancy test.

It’s possible to experience a delay in your period for more than a week after taking ellaOne. You can take a pregnancy test for your peace of mind.

How long does ellaOne stay effective?

EllaOne can be effective if taken within 120 hours (5 days) after unprotected sex. It’s more effective the sooner you take it. Use a barrier method of contraception if you are planning to have sex again after taking ellaOne to lower your risks of unwanted pregnancy.

How ellaOne compares against other forms of contraception

EllaOne is best used together with other methods of contraception. But for comparison’s sake, we’ll take a look at how this after-morning pill stacks against other contraceptive methods in terms of effectiveness (information taken from NHS UK).

Form Of Contraception Perfect Use* Typical Use**
Male condoms 98% effective 82% effective
Female condoms 95% effective 79% effective
Contraceptive pills (combined pill and progestogen-only pill) 99% effective 91% effective
Contraceptive injection (lasts between 8 to 13 weeks) More than 99% effective 94% effective
Contraceptive patch More than 99% effective 91% effective
Diaphragms and caps 92% to 96% effective 71-88% effective
Contraceptive implant More than 99% effective No user failure
Intrauterine system (IUS) More than 99% effective No user failure
Intrauterine device (IUD) More than 99% effective No user failure
Vaginal ring More than 99% effective 91% effective
Emergency contraception (e.g. ellaOne) 98% effective May result in pregnancy if taken after ovulation.

*Perfect use - contraceptive method is always used correctly
**Typical use - contraceptive method is not always used correctly (e.g. missed pill, leakage, etc.)

Where can I get ellaOne?

You can buy ellaOne online from Express Pharmacy.


How Many Times Can You Rely on the Morning After Pill?

Posted Friday 28 February 2020 10:06 by Harman Bhamra in Emergency Contraception

The Pill. Condoms. IUDs. Nowadays, there are countless forms of contraception available, making it as easy as possible to practice safe sex. But what happens if you forget to use contraception, or if your first method failed?

This is where the morning after pill can help.

How many times can you rely on the morning after pill? How effective is it? Discover all you need to know about the morning after pill and much more right here.

What Does The Morning After Pill Do?

Emergency contraception is most commonly known as the morning after pill. This pill is an over the counter medication which prevents unplanned pregnancy. Despite its name, the pill can typically be taken up to 72-hours after sex, but the sooner it is taken, the more effective it will be at stopping or delaying the release of an egg.

What Types of Morning After Pill Are There?

Levonelle is a type of morning-after pill intended to be taken within 72-hours of sex. The Levonelle pill is said to work by preventing an egg being released or eliminating the ability of it to become fertilized by the sperm if already descended.

EllaOne is another form of emergency contraception but has a longer window of effectiveness. It can be taken up to 5 days after intercourse takes place. The EllaOne pill mainly aims to delay or prevent ovulation to help prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Unlike other morning-after pills, this cannot be taken in conjunction with certain other medicines, such as HIV treatment drugs.

What Are The Side Effects of The Morning After Pill?

Much like other forms of contraception, the morning after pill method is very safe but is not without side effects. These include:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Irregular menstrual cycle

If you experience any of the above symptoms on a regular basis, it’s important to speak to your GP.

Emergency contraception is to be used as a one time fix and does not protect you from any further unprotected sex during your cycle; it also has no prevention qualities from sexually transmitted diseases (STIs).

When Do You Have To Take The Morning After Pill?

The effectiveness of the pill will entirely depend on the time after sex it is taken. After unprotected sex, Levonelle can be taken within 72-hours to effectively prevent pregnancy, but the longer you wait to take it, the less effective it becomes. The medication is most effective when taken as soon as possible…

  • Within 24-hours = 95% success rate
  • Within 24 to 48-hours = 85% success rate
  • Within 48 to 72-hours = 58% success rate

However, this period can vary depending on the specific pill you take, EllaOne is effective once taken up to 5-days (120 hours) after unprotected sex and has an effectiveness rate of 98% if used properly.

How Many Times Can You Rely On The Morning After Pill?

The morning after pill has no effect on a woman's long term health and despite some minor side effects, the pill is a safe and simple method of contraception. But this doesn't mean that it should be a long-term solution.

Although the pill does not cause serious harm, it can throw your hormones off course. Menstrual cycles are personal to every woman, with some being regimented and others irregular, but the morning after pill can shake things up. Due to the prevention of ovulation, you could experience irregular bleeding and unravelled emotions because of the disturbance to your hormones.

If you use emergency contraception as what it is - for emergencies - your body has time to rejig your regular cycle and hormones can reset, but frequent use does not allow the body to get back into a routine. It is advised to limit the usage of the morning after pill to once a cycle, to prevent the risk and severity of side effects.

Where Can I Get The Morning After Pill?

Emergency contraception is available to all women, even those under the age of 16. It is most commonly found at:

  • Sexual health clinics
  • GP surgeries
  • Young people clinics
  • NHS walk-in centres
  • An online pharmacy
  • A&E

Many women prefer to opt for more discreet online services, as the pill can be delivered in unbranded packaging. This will be exactly the case at Express Pharmacy, where you can buy effective emergency contraception at the click of a button.

Although not encouraged as a prefered method of contraception, the pill is widely available to everyone in case of emergencies. For girls under the age of 16, getting the morning after pill is kept confidential as long as a doctor or pharmacist believes you are aware and conscious of the decision you are making.

For more information regarding the morning after pill, get in touch with our experts on 0208 123 0703.


Is It Possible to Avoid Pregnancy Without Contraception?

Posted Thursday 28 February 2019 12:05 by Tim Deakin in Emergency Contraception

avoiding pregnancy

According to the NHS, there are 15 methods of contraception to choose from, each with its own level of effectiveness to consider. [1] However, this does mean that there are plenty of options for every individual and circumstance.

So surely, there’s no reason not to use protection of some kind if you’re trying to avoid pregnancy? Well, not everyone agrees. There are, of course, religious and cultural factors to take into account, as well as a host of myths and theories surrounding contraception and safe sex that have the capacity to confuse matters.

From contraception-free sex methods to myths about contraception itself, let’s see how some of these theories stand up to scrutiny.

Having sex on your period

There is a lot of talk surrounding the notion of having sex on your period. First of all, period sex is safe, and can actually lead to benefits such as relief from menstrual cramps.

However, your period should not be relied on as an effective method of contraception. Although you’re most likely to get pregnant during ovulation, every cycle is different and getting pregnant around your period can happen.[2]

The pull-out technique

The pull-out technique of contraception involves relying on a male partner’s timing. When the male partner feels that the point of climax is approaching, he ‘pulls out’ of the female in order to avoid releasing sperm into the vagina. However, in the heat of the moment, this can be difficult to time effectively, meaning the pull-out technique is not a guaranteed way to avoid pregnancy. In fact, if 100 women were to use the technique for pregnancy prevention each year, roughly 22 would have an unintended pregnancy.[3]

Having sex while breastfeeding

Many women assume that there is a direct correlation between their sex life and their decision to breastfeed. A study in 2005 found that women who were breast-feeding were more likely to delay resuming intercourse than those who were not breastfeeding.[4]

Research has shown that breastfeeding may help to prevent pregnancy if certain conditions are met, namely that the woman is within six months of having delivered the baby, has not had a menstrual cycle and if the baby is feeding only on breastmilk. All three of these conditions need to be met in order for breastfeeding to help in any way with contraception, and even then there is still a significant chance that pregnancy will occur.

The myths surrounding female contraception

The use of modern contraception has increased slightly in recent years, according to the World Health Organisation. In 1990, 54% used modern contraception, compared to 57.4% in 2015. However, this still almost half the female population who are not practising safe sex.[5]

This is partly due to the myths which surround female contraception. One such myth is that birth control causes severe weight gain. An analysis of 49 studies in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews found that going on the pill made no significant different to a woman’s weight.[6]

Another common misconception is that the use of birth control can lead to birth defects in children. Several studies have found no evidence between taking birth control and the likelihood of birth defects.[7]

contraception

Contraception is key

No matter when and how you’re having intercourse, practising safety throughout contraception is an important part of the process. The World Health Organisation summarises some of the key benefits of contraception, including empowering people, reducing adolescent pregnancies, slowing population growth, reducing infant mortality rates and helping to prevent the spread of diseases.[8]

If you’re nervous about seeking contraception from your GP, you can obtain safe and effective contraception discreetly by order from Express Pharmacy. If you have any more questions, you can get in touch with our pharmacists today by calling 0208 123 07 03 or using our online Live Chat service.


[1] NHS UK. What is contraception? 2019 [Accessed February 2019]

[2] NHS UK. Can I get pregnant just after my period has finished? 2018 [Accessed February 2019]

[3] Women’s Health Institute. Contraception myths. Cleveland Clinic, 2018 [Accessed February 2019]

[4] Rowland, M, Foxcroft, L., Hopman, W.M., Patel, R. Breastfeeding and sexuality immediately post partum. Can Fam Physician, 2005 [Accessed February 2019]

[5] World Health Organisation. Family Planning Fact Sheet. 2015 [Accessed February 2019]

[6] Gallo, M., Lopez, L., Grimes, D., Carayon, F., Schulz, K., Helmerhorst, F. Combination contraceptives: effects on weight. Cochrane Library, 2014 [Accessed February 2019]

[7] Sifferlin, A., Birth Control Pill Not Linked to Birth Defects: Study. TIME, 2016 [Accessed February 2019]

[8] World Health Organisation. Family Planning Fact Sheet. 2015 [Accessed February 2019]


The Complex Relationship Between Periods and Pregnancy

Posted Thursday 21 February 2019 22:55 by Tim Deakin in Emergency Contraception

pregnancy and periods

The relationship between periods and pregnancy is one which is constantly being questioned. A lack of open discussion and education has left many women unsure of the impact a period may or may not have on conception and contraception. Last year, there were 792,636 contacts to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services in the UK made by women with enquiries about pregnancy and contraception. The most likely age group to contact Sexual and Reproductive Health Services for contraception were 18-19 year old females.[1]

So to help clear things up, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about periods and pregnancy.

Is it possible to get your period during pregnancy?

In short, no. You cannot experience a genuine menstrual period while you’re pregnant. The reason many women are confused by this fact is that it is possible to experience vaginal bleeding during pregnancy, but this is not the same thing as menstruation. In most cases, this spotting is the result of ‘implantation bleeding’, or due to a Pap smear, vaginal exam or sex. However, it can also be a sign of something more serious such as infection, placental issues, miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. If you experience any bleeding during pregnancy, seek advice from your GP as soon as possible.

When is the best time of the month to try for a baby?

One question many women ask themselves is ‘can you get pregnant anytime of the month?’ This is often born out of frustration at taking a long time to conceive. However, while just over a third of healthy couples will conceive in the first month of trying, it can often take longer. In fact, if you’re under 35 and in good health, it’s perfectly natural for conception to take up to a year.[2] What’s more, it’s estimated that around one in seven couples struggles to conceive.[3]

For the best chances of conception, couples should engage in intercourse within a day or so of ovulation. This describes the point when an egg is released from the ovary, and usually occurs around 14 days after the first day of your last period.

Do irregular periods make it more difficult to conceive?

According to clinical professor of obstetrics-gynaecology and reproductive sciences at the University of California, Amy Audrey, MD, at least 30% of women have irregular periods during their child-bearing years.[4]

The effect this has on your chances of getting pregnant really depends on the underlying cause of your irregular periods. In most cases, it will have very little effect on your ability to conceive. However, in certain cases irregular periods can be the result of something more serious like fibroids, blood clotting, polyps or thyroid issues, which can impact your chances of getting pregnant as well as your overall health.

Can you get pregnant on your period?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to pregnancy and periods. The answer is that while you are far less likely to get pregnant on your period, you shouldn’t rely on this alone as a method of contraception. Monthly cycles can be unpredictable, and women with shorter cycles have an increased chance of getting pregnant during their period. Furthermore, it is perfectly possible to fall pregnant just before or just after your period, so using this as a method of contraception can be extremely risky.

The Importance of Contraception

No matter what method you choose, contraception is vital for preventing pregnancy and increasing the safety of your intercourse. The contraceptive pill is typically between 91-99% effective when it comes to preventing pregnancy, while an IUD is more than 99% effective. Male condoms are between 82-98% effective and female condoms are between 79-95% effective.[5]

Simply put, you shouldn’t rely on timing sexual intercourse around your period as your sole method of avoiding pregnancy. If you want to enjoy intercourse without the risk of pregnancy, the right contraception is an absolute must.

Both female contraception and emergency contraception are available safely and discreetly from Express Pharmacy. For further information and guidance, speak to one of our NHS-approved pharmacists today by calling 0208 123 07 03 or by using our online Live Chat service.


[1] NHS UK. Sexual and Reproductive Health Services. 2017. [Accessed February 2019]

[2] Clearblue UK. How long does it take to get pregnant? 2018. [Accessed February 2019]

[3] National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). Fertility – assessment and treatment for people with fertility problems. 2013. [Accessed February 2019]

[4] Everyday Health. The Facts About Irregular Periods. 2010. [Accessed February 2019]

[5] NHS UK. How effective is contraception at preventing pregnancy? 2017. [Accessed February 2019]


Everything You Need to Know About Emergency Contraception

Posted Saturday 15 December 2018 17:06 by Tim Deakin in Emergency Contraception

emergency contraception

Emergency contraception is an effective means of preventing pregnancy following unprotected sex, or sex during which the method of contraception has failed – e.g. a split condom or a missed contraceptive pill.

There are two kinds of emergency contraception: the morning after pill and the intrauterine device (IUD). Emergency contraception is not designed as a primary source of contraception, but rather something to be taken when other methods are not available or fail.

Read on to find everything you need to know about the morning after pill, including where you can get it safely and swiftly.

The fast facts you need to know about emergency contraception

There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding emergency contraception, so here are some of the key facts to help clear things up for you.

  • Emergency contraception cannot be used to terminate a pregnancy. The morning after pill and the abortion pill are two completely different kinds of medication and should never be used interchangeably.
  • Emergency contraception has no impact on your ability to conceive in the future. There is no evidence to suggest that even multiple uses of the morning after pill will make you less likely to get pregnant in the future.
  • The morning after pill has up to a 95% effectiveness rating for preventing pregnancy. Less than one percent of women who use the IUD get pregnant.[1]
  • Emergency contraception can be taken up to 5 days after sex and still be effective, depending on the contraception you choose.

Your choice of contraception

Another misconception regarding emergency contraception is that it only comes in one form. In reality, there are several options available. As we mentioned above, the two main kinds of emergency contraception are the morning after pill and the IUD. There are also different kinds of morning after pill to choose from too.

ellaOne emergency contraception

These are Levonelle and ellaOne. Levonelle can be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, though it is most effective in the first 12 hours. It works by stopping the ovaries from releasing an egg and preventing sperm from fertilising any egg that may have been released.

Similarly, ellaOne can be taken up to 120 hours after unprotected sex. A dose consists of one tablet which works to inhibit or delay ovulation, helping to prevent pregnancy.

The IUD is a more long-term commitment to emergency contraception. It involves the insertion of a coil directly into the womb which then releases copper to stop the egg implanting in your womb or being fertilised.

The morning after pill: your questions answered

Who can use the morning after pill?

Most women can take the morning after pill safely, including women who can’t use hormonal contraception and breastfeeding mothers. It’s always best to check with your GP if you are currently taking any other prescription medication. You should also avoid the medication if you are allergic to any of the ingredients.

Can you use it alongside normal contraception?

You can use emergency contraception if you forget to take a dose of your regular contraceptive pill. If you have taken Levonelle, you should continue your normal course of contraception within 12 hours. After taking ellaOne, you should wait 5 days before taking your next contraceptive pill.[2]

What are the side effects of the emergency pill?

There are no serious side effects to taking the morning after pill. However, it can cause mild, short-term side effects such as headaches, tummy pains, nausea and changes to the timing of your next period.



6 Myths About Emergency Contraception Made Clear

Posted Tuesday 27 February 2018 10:21 by Tim Deakin in Emergency Contraception

There is a lot of information out there about emergency contraception. But how do you know what to believe?

Emergency contraception is an effective method of ensuring that sexual intercourse doesn’t result in pregnancy, especially following unprotected sex. Even if other contraceptive methods are used, using the morning after pill can help provide extra protection for any margin of error.

However, many people get confused about the prospect of using emergency contraception, and there is a lot of misinformation fuelling the fire. When should you use it? What are your options? Is it safe? Let’s myth-bust some common misconceptions about emergency contraception.

“There is only one option when it comes emergency contraception”

Actually, there are several emergency contraception options out there which can help prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. There are two main forms of emergency contraception: the emergency IUD (otherwise known as the emergency coil) and the morning after pill. Whilst the morning after pill is the more commonly used of the two, it’s important to speak to a healthcare professional about which option is best for your specific circumstances.

There are also options within these options too. Both Levonelle and ellaOne are popular and effective emergency contraception tablets.

“Emergency contraception can terminate a pregnancy”

The morning after pill and the abortion pill are two completely different kinds of medication and should never be used interchangeably. If you are already confirmed to be pregnant, emergency contraception like the morning after pill will make no difference to the development of your pregnancy. It should only be used to prevent pregnancy.

“Emergency contraception affects your future fertility”

There is no evidence to suggest that even multiple uses of the morning after pill can affect your fertility in the long term. It will not reduce your future chances of falling pregnant. Even if you have unprotected sex again several days after taking the contraception there is no evidence that your chances of falling pregnant will be any lower.

“You will experience a lot of unpleasant side effects”

Like many medications, emergency contraception carries with it the risk of experiencing side effects. However, like many medications, most people will be able to use the treatment without experiencing any negative symptoms at all. If you do experience side effects, they will most likely be mild and temporary.

Possible side effects of the morning after pill include headaches, nausea, stomach pain and irregular menstrual flow.

“It only works if you take it straight after sexual intercourse”

Modern emergency contraceptive treatments like Levonelle and ellaOne have an extended period of effectiveness, meaning you can take them up to 3 to 5 days after unprotected sex and still reduce your chances of falling pregnant.

However, it is true that the sooner you take emergency contraception, the more effective it is. EllaOne has been shown to be around 98% effective if taken within twelve hours of sexual intercourse, but can be taken anytime up to 120 hours after unprotected sex.

Similarly, Levonelle is 95% effective if taken within 12 hours of unprotected sex, 85% if taken between 12 and 24 hours after sex, 75% effective if taken between 24 and 48 hours after sex and 58% effective if taken between 48 and 72 hours after sex.

“Emergency contraception is difficult to get”

Research suggests that only 7% of women are aware of just how simple it is to acquire emergency contraception. It can be obtained directly from your local pharmacy, from a sexual health clinic, your GP or a walk-in centre. You can even obtain it without leaving the house by ordering from trusted online pharmacies like Express Pharmacy.

For treatment and advice on emergency contraception and other healthcare queries, contact the team at Express Pharmacy today. Call 0208 123 07 03 or use our discreet online Live Chat service.

Tags: Emergency Contraception Women's Health Sexual Health Female Contraception Levonelle ellaOne

How You Can Help This Movember

Posted Wednesday 01 November 2017 16:53 by Tim Deakin in Emergency Contraception

By now, almost everyone is aware of the autumn health campaign known as Movember. In fact, it’s hard to miss the thousands of hastily grown moustaches that pop up over the course of the month throughout the course of November.

But Movember is much more than facial hair and a modest cause to raise awareness. This year’s campaign is more ambitious than ever before in its aim to address men’s health. November offers an opportunity to learn more about the Movember Foundation and their fight to increase the life expectancy of men around the world.

Why Movember?

Too many men are affected by ill health. On average men live 6 years less than women. Testicular cancer rates have doubled in the in the last 5 years, and prostate cancer rates are set to double over the next 15 years.

It is not just cancer that is taking the men in our lives beyond their prime, however. Staggering three-quarters of all suicides are carried out by men. Movember helps raise money to improve services and advocates for more open and honest discussions about men’s health issues, including a focus on mental health.

Men’s health matters and with the help and support of the community, you can help Movember reach its aim — to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25% by the year 2030.

Here is how you can help the cause this November!

Grow a mo

Whether you opt for a lavish handle bar, a modest goatee, or a work of art all your own, facial hair is a ribbon for the cause and is a great way to get people talking about men’s health. This is your chance to get creative, let the sponsor with the highest donation choose the style or colour of your new furry friend for added hilarity and a boost to donations! Whatever you do make sure you direct people to the Movember web page to donate.

Take the Move challenge

With the festive season around the corner and the cold months settling in, there is no better time to get physically active. Make a bid to move more during November and your new fitness regime can help raise money for men’s health with the help of sponsors. Take the Move Challenge means you can carry out any activity you like: organise a race with friends, learn salsa or don a costume and head to the gym to set a new personal record. Get thinking and get moving!

Organise an event

For those females who can’t grow a mo or for those who would prefer to exercise out of the limelight, fear not. You can organise an event of your choice to rake in the pounds instead. Set up a ping pong tournament, try a game of Dungeons and Dragons or plan a good old fashioned dinner party.

Organise well and you and your friends can enjoy a great night whilst making a valuable contribution to the Movember Foundation. If you want to organise a large event, it is always worth asking local venues to sponsor it, and ask local brands to provide prizes or party supplies. Just remember to create your event on the Movember site so you can keep track of RSVPs. AND don’t forget to thank your sponsors.

Distinguished Gentleman’s ride

Are you a keen motorcyclist? Then maybe you should consider joining the annual Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride to join the hoards of suave bikers atop vintage motorbikes. With over 500 cities taking part, there is sure to be a ride near you!

The Movember campaign makes it incredibly easy to raise money for this worthy cause. You choose an event. You set the date. Simply sign up online and direct your long line of sponsors to the Movember webpage where they can donate freely so you don’t have to pester them for payments. For those daring souls out there, we urge you to try all three main events at once! We let you off if you don’t know how to ride a motorcycle.

Taking men’s health seriously

One of the most common problems faced by men identified during Movember is the reluctance of many gentlemen to discuss their health problems. Statistically, men are much less likely to discuss their concerns – whether it’s a case of erectile dysfunction, acid reflux or something more sinister such as a lump on their testicles or a severe bout of depression.

If you are a man and want to reach out discreetly to discuss your health concerns, why not use our discreet Live Chat service available through the website? We’re always happy to help and can provide important advice and guidance in complete confidence.


11th September Marks the Beginning of Sexual Health Week 2017

Posted Monday 11 September 2017 09:45 by Tim Deakin in Emergency Contraception

Sexual Health Week 2017 is the perfect time to remind yourself of the emotional and physical aspects of sexual health, including online treatments for sexual health concerns

Sexual Health Week 2017 marks the 10th annual week dedicated to improving knowledge surrounding sexual health. It’s an event run by the FPA: the Family Planning Association. This is a UK registered sexual health charity dedicated to giving clear information and support on sexual health and relationships.

The theme of Sexual Health Week 2017 is: ‘Let’s Talk Porn’

Sexual Health Week 2017 will focus on the impact of pornography on people’s perception of sexual activity and sexual health. The FPA want to use the week to encourage open conversation about subjects related to pornography, such as consent, communication, safe sex, body image and the ability to distinguish between fantasy and reality.

Research has shown that young people are coming into contact with sexually explicit content at a much younger age, and more than half of 11 to 16 year old boys think that pornography is a realistic depiction of sex. The FPA want to use Sexual Health Week 2017 to promote open-minded, positive and non-judgemental discussion which addresses the fact that porn is made to look good, not feel good.

To achieve this, the FPA are offering useful information for young people, including quizzes to determine the differences between actual sexual intercourse and pornography. They’ll also be giving away top tips for parents, teachers and health professionals so that they can feel confident having the conversation about sexual health with young people.

So what can you do? You can get involved by shouting about Sexual Health Week 2017 on social media using the hashtag #SHW17, and by obtaining your free resource pack from the FPA site.

It’s important to be aware of the physical aspects of sexual health, as well as the emotional ones

The physical aspects of sexual health are just as important as the emotional or psychological aspects. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a huge concern for anyone practicing sexual intercourse without the proper safety measures in place. Conditions like chlamydia, genital warts and herpes are still common in the UK, with almost 500,000 cases of STIs being diagnosed each year in England alone.

There are other physical aspects of sexual health to consider however, such as unwanted pregnancy. This is a common concern for men and women practicing heterosexual sex without a condom. Other factors like erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation, which can both be signs of underlying health concerns.

Online treatments for sexual health

Maintaining your sexual health is hugely important, but many people find discussing their concerns with a GP nerve-wracking or even embarrassing. Part of the role of Sexual Health Week is to emphasise the importance of getting the right help and advice from professionals – remembering that sex is a part of life and should not be off limits in conversation.

For those who want to be able to ask questions in a discreet fashion and receive fast answers, why not utilise Express Pharmacy’s Live Chat tool? You can also find many online treatments for sexual health concerns on our website, which can be prescribed and despatched without needing to visit a doctor or pharmacy in person. These prescriptions include treatment for both erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. We also offer online treatments for sexual health in the form of emergency contraception, and even medication such as Norethisterone which can be used for period delay. Sexual Health Week 2017 is the perfect time to seek out the online treatments for sexual health you need, so don’t delay.

Get in touch with Express Pharmacy for fast treatment and reliable guidance on sexual health concerns

Seeking help for these kinds of concerns can be daunting, which is why Express Pharmacy offer discreet online treatments for sexual health. Contact us today via our Live Chat service, or by calling 0208 123 0703.


Busting the Myths Surrounding Emergency Contraception

Posted Tuesday 29 November 2016 13:53 by Tim Deakin in Emergency Contraception

emergency contraceptionThe issue with contraception and sex is that often they’re either not discussed or discussed in private, a reality that can make the facts surrounding both particularly blurry. As a result, you may not be armed with the information you need to keep safe. Emergency contraception, also known as the morning-after pill is not new to the market and yet there are a number of misconceptions and myths that can be problematic for women who need the correct information in order to help them make important decisions relating to birth control.

Levonelle and ellaOne are both forms of emergency contraception that can be taken retrospectively to prevent pregnancy. Levonelle must be taken within three days of unprotected sex and ellaOne within five days. While both prevent or delay the release of an egg, ellaOne is considered to be more effective than Levonelle.

Now, let us look in more detail at what emergency contraception does and does not offer women.

The morning after pill does not protect you from STIs

Contrary to popular belief, like many forms of hormonal contraception, the morning after pill doesn’t protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs). As a form of oral contraception, it works by releasing chemicals into the body, which affect the body’s natural response to fertilisation. As such, it cannot form a physical barrier that may also safeguard against sexually transmitted diseases or pelvic infections – as found with condoms and some forms of IUD (intrauterine device).

It does not cause abortion

While medication can be used to bring on abortion, emergency contraception works in a different way. Emergency contraception works by stopping the release of an egg and may also stop sperm from fertilising an egg that has already been released into the fallopian tubes. Levonelle contains levonorgestrel and ellaOne contains ulipristal acetate – which disrupts the natural hormone progesterone within a woman’s body. Progesterone is integral to the ovulation process and as a result, ovulation is prevented or delayed. For eggs that have already been fertilised and have implanted in the uterus, most forms of emergency contraception will have no effect.

Emergency contraception does not become less effective with more use

It is hard to pinpoint the exact number of pregnancies that have been prevented due to the use of Levonelle or ellaOne. However, research conducted in 2010 revealed that of the 1,696 women who received emergency hormonal contraception (EHC) within three days of unprotected sex, just 37 became pregnant. The same study showed that of the 203 women who took the morning after pill within three to five days of sex, three became pregnant. The rule of thumb is that the sooner you take EHCs after unprotected sex, the more effective they are likely to be.

Whilst neither Levonelle or ellaOne should be used as a method of regular contraception, both can be used more than once during any one menstrual cycle if necessary without diminishing effectiveness. It is important to note, that both EHCs do not offer continued protection and only prevent pregnancy after one act of unprotected sex. With Levonelle, your regular method of hormonal contraception will remain effective, however if you were to have sex after taking ellaOne you should use condoms as your normal contraception may not work as effectively as it should do.

It does not become less effective with alcohol

Alcohol or drug use does not make Levonelle or ellaOne any less effective. However, it is important to note that one of the primary side effect of excess alcohol consumption – vomiting – can impact on the effectiveness of oral contraceptives such as EHCs. If you vomit within two hours of taking emergency contraceptive Levonelle or within three hours with ellaOne, it is recommended that you seek medical advice where you will be either given another dose of your preferred EHC or fitted with an IUD.

Make sure you keep safe

In addition to offering trusted advice, Express Pharmacy can help you order the morning after pill discreetly. Simply select your treatment, complete our medical questionnaire and checkout to access a range of fast delivery options.


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