Anyone who has ever gone out to buy the morning after pill knows the experience can be unpleasant.
From the high price to the awkwardness of queuing up at your local pharmacy and explaining what you want to buy, the already stressful mission of getting emergency contraception can be made considerably worse.
However, a new initiative from ellaOne could take out some of the sting.
The pharmaceutical brand has launched a same-day delivery service for the morning after pill, allowed women to order it online and have it delivered to their home – or address of choice.
The first-of-its-kind scheme is now available nationwide, with same-day delivery available in a matter of hours.
The “ellaOne Direct Express” service, which is currently being piloted in London, offers delivery in between three and 12 hours.
Those purchasing the pill outside of London can have a next-day delivery guaranteed within 24 hours.
The pill will be delivered in a letterbox-sized unbranded box, meaning you do not need to worry it will be identified by your postman or neighbours.
However, the service is not cheap. It is available for a base price of £34.95, plus £9.95 for three-hour delivery – available within London – or £1.95, £3.95 or £6.95 for delivery within 24 hours (depending on what time you order).
How soon after unprotected sex should you take the morning after pill?
Women should take emergency contraception following unprotected sex.
This can either be in the form of the insertion of an intrauterine birth control device or an emergency contraceptive pill like Levonelle or ellaOne, according to the NHS website. A GP will advise on which type is suitable for you.
If you opt for the latter, you can take Levonelle up to three days after sex or ellaOne up to five days after your period.
Dr Jane Woyka, Principal GP Practitioner at Harrow Health Care Centre, told Yahoo UK she welcomes the initiative.
She said: “Many GPs like myself will welcome the introduction of such a service as it widens contraceptive access to women who would like to use online delivery for a variety of reasons.
“The current system does limit the ability for some to use existing contraception effectively, so this is a positive step to be taking.”