TRYING to get hold of emergency contraception can be a bit of a logistical nightmare – especially when it's time sensitive.
There is also a certain level of judgement that comes with buying the medication, which can put women off.
But now, some women are able to order the morning-after pill to their door for free without having to see or even speak to a healthcare professional.
The new service – launched by the femtech startup, The Lowdown -will mean women who need the time-sensitive pill will receive it within hours of placing an order online.
Until now, women have had to visit their GP or pharmacist for a consultation before being prescribed emergency contraception.
The scheme is currently being trialled in a number of Manchester postcodes until the end of September.
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However, organisers have told The Sun there are plans to roll it out nationally – although no date is yet in place.
Until the end of September, women in Manchester will be able to order a choice of five different morning-after pills for £9.50.
All are safe but need to be taken within different time frames to be effective.
Four of the pills contain the hormone levonorgestrel and need to be taken within 72 hours (three days) of having sex.
Meanwhile, EllaOne can be used up to 120 hours (five days) after sex.
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The morning after pill should always be taken as soon as possible after sex to have the maximum chance of being taken early enough to delay ovulation.
It's hoped the delivery service will give women more control over their reproductive heath.
Women who want a morning-after pill will have to complete a short questionnaire online and order the medication before 5pm to receive their pill the same day.
Alice Pelton, founder of The Lowdown, said the pilot "puts control into the hands of women and people with vaginas.
"There’s so much unnecessary stigma around emergency contraception, and it’s too difficult for many women and their partners to access it quickly and conveniently."
She added: "These medications are incredibly safe and effective, and getting hold of them should not need to involve travelling long distances or having an awkward public conversation with a pharmacist."
Recent research on nearly 1,000 18-35-year-old women found that 57 per cent feel awkward and embarrassed when making the purchase.
Meanwhile, another survey found that three-quarters of women choose not to seek emergency contraception after having unprotected sex, due to embarrassment and judgment from medics.
Dr Melanie Davis-Hall, GP and medical director at The Lowdown said: "Despite living in the 21st century there are still significant barriers to accessing contraception.
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"And young people embarking on their university career may have even more difficulty accessing emergency contraception in an unfamiliar city at a vulnerable time of their life where many start having more sex!" she said.
The Lowdown is the UK’s leading sexual and reproductive health platform, visited by over 70,000 women every month.
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