News Monday June 20, 2011

Morning-after pill use tripled after Royal Wedding

NHS Northamptonshire has revealed statistics that show that the number of people requesting emergency contraception more than tripled over the bank holiday weekend.

The extended bank holiday weekend included the Royal Wedding of Kate Middleton to Prince William, and this is being pinpointed as the reason for the boost in demand. More than three times the number of people who normally request the morning after pill at that time of year did so after the event.

Heidi King, who is a sexual health worker, was quoted in the Metro with her theory: “It was a beautifully warm weekend in Northamptonshire and there were street parties as well as house parties to celebrate Will and Kate’s wonderful wedding... And we probably shouldn’t underestimate those two kisses on the Palace balcony.”

Public events and special occasions have traditionally led to an increase in the demand for emergency contraception, for example it is common for pharmacies to increase the stock of the morning after pill before Christmas and the New Year in preparation. As Ms. King has suggested, it is very likely that the combination of a four-day weekend, the sunny weather and a national happy event is responsible for the spike in demand.

Some healthcare providers recommend that women buy the morning after pill in advance so they are prepared if the situation of unprotected sex arises. As emergency contraception is more effective the earlier it is taken after such an event, it is sensible and practical to be fully prepared for such a situation.

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