Stigma, Fear & Anxiety

Story 1:

I feared the stigma of society

‘I actually backed out of getting the morning after pill due over the counter due to fear and feeling stupid. I had an experience where the condom broke and I was worried about what had happened even though my boyfriend was sure he had pulled out in time. Never the less I was worried and we were away at the time and I couldn’t find a pharmacy that was open. So on the day I returned it was the third day. I left the airport and went home.

On my way home I tried to build up the courage to go into the pharmacy. I decided not to go to my local one as the people know me there and I didn’t want them judging me. I went to one a little bit away. I circled the block twice before going in. The staff were talking among themselves and there was no one but me in there. I walked around looking at products I didn’t need and when the pharmacist did ask if they could help I just looked at the closest thing and asked a question about it. I just felt so stupid. I blamed myself. How could I let this happen that I would be in a position of needing the morning after pill? I know it was no ones fault but I felt guilt and blame and I felt uncomfortable asking a male pharmacist for the pill. I just walked out thinking in a state of shock. I couldn’t understand why I felt so much shame. I feared being judged. I just couldn’t do it. And now I was putting my life in a state of stress for the next few weeks until I got my period (which I did thank god).

I feared the stigma of society. Its just a pill that I could take but I was brought up to believe in different values and I feared what people thought of me. Another thing that worried me was the cost of the pill. I had no idea how much it would cost. I feared no having enough money to actually buy it them. I have never mentioned this to any of my friends and I doubt I ever will unless they experience something similar. It was a very isolating experience

Story 2: 

“Fearful, embarrassed, anxious, stressed”

Story 3:

“I was nervous slightly embarrassed so that i gave a fake name and address ( don think that should be necessary ) but the pharmacist was lovely really nice though she was on the fence about giving it to me. Otherwise it was good”

Story 4:

“Before I entered the pharmacy, I was confident, because I knew this was something I had to do. However, although the ladies in the pharmacy were lovely, once they started questioning “Why it happened” and “If it was consensual” I began to feel overwhelmed by the situation. They encouraged me to reach out, and talk to someone. because it can be a stressful time, but I just felt like I wanted it to be over, and to get out of the uncomfortable, slightly judgemental shop as quickly as I could.”

Story 5:

“Before I entered the pharmacy, I was confident, because I knew this was something I had to do. However, although the ladies in the pharmacy were lovely, once they started questioning “Why it happened” and “If it was consensual” I began to feel overwhelmed by the situation. They encouraged me to reach out, and talk to someone. because it can be a stressful time, but I just felt like I wanted it to be over, and to get out of the uncomfortable, slightly judgemental shop as quickly as I could.”

Story 6;

“When I needed the MAP it was only available in the well woman centre in Dublin. There was no other access in my area and so I would have to skip school for the day and make my way into town. The centre was expensive for a 16-17 year old as 50 euro is not easily found. I never had any sexual health education in school and really felt mortified even discussing issues such as periods with my doctor let alone sex. I didn’t have good experiences in those years and looking back it’s such a shame that no one gave information and support to young people. I’m now a nurse and teach young people about sexual health but it’s no thanks to the Irish government. I would urge young people to access as much information as possible so you don’t get stuck in the same situations as many others.”

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