Need emergency contraception? Just text
Oops, I did it again
Can't remember what or who you did last night? Send a text to 62233 and it will respond with the location of the nearest stockist of Levonelle, the emergency contraceptive pill.
The service is being run by Incentivated for Schering Health Care. It links to the mobile phone operator to work out roughly where you are, and will respond with a text telling you where the nearest stockist is.
The information is also available on the Levonelle website, though not many people will want to be checking that in an open-plan office.
Incentivated uses the same technology to run the CabWise service, which will tell you the location of the nearest cab if you text "home" to 60835 - assuming you're a Londoner and don't want to go south of the river.
Of course, if you'd done that last night you wouldn't be looking for the morning-after pill now. ®
Prescription not required
In the UK a prescription is not required for the morning after pill.
However, with a prescription, you will get it free, without you will have to pay.
Why is the focus on "after"?
The fact is, you still need to get a prescription to actually buy the bloody thing. Taking time out from work. Waiting in a queue for hours. Then justifying to the doctor why you need it is psychologically draining as well as damn inconvenient. That's the main source of hassle! Knowing where your local stockist is is about as useful as having a label on the front of your PC saying "The power button switches off your PC", since the local stockist won't serve you unless you have a prescription.
What would be MORE useful is legislation that allows one to buy the pill in ADVANCE of any accident. The morning-after pill should be in every man and woman's medicine cabinet - especially because time is of the essence, and you can't always get a prescription on the weekend (or if you decided to go abroad and have sex in a country where you don't speak the native language or don't know about health procedures). And yes, men should be able to buy them too - contraception is a shared responsibility.
In countries like South Africa, you can walk into a chemist and buy morning-after pills without the need for a prescription. I wonder why the Western world has not yet caught up with this policy. Why should the prospect of an unwanted pregnancy be less important in Europe than it is in South Africa?
Morning after pill for men...
You take it the morning after and it changes your blood type.
I'll get my coat...