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UK’s First Same-Day Morning After Pill Delivery Service Launches for Manchester Freshers Week

Women’s health startup The Lowdown launch a same-day morning after pill delivery service in Manchester to coincide with freshers week and World Contraception Day (Monday 26th September)

London-based femtech startup, The Lowdown, is launching a same-day morning after pill delivery service in Manchester, the first of its kind in the UK.

Women are able to order their morning after pill by completing a short questionnaire online, without having to speak to a healthcare professional. Any orders placed up until 5pm will be delivered to women living in central Manchester via a friendly bicycle courier before 9pm the same evening.

The startup hopes the pilot will help raise awareness of the increased need for access and innovation in contraceptives in the UK, and reduce the stigma associated with accessing emergency contraception.

Alice Pelton, Founder of The Lowdown, says; ‘The Lowdown is all about making contraception less complicated, and this pilot is part of our bold plans to put 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. 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.’

Dr Melanie Davis-Hall, GP and Medical Director at The Lowdown says, ‘Despite living in the 21st century there are still significant barriers to accessing contraception. 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!’

‘This service provides a quick, easy way of accessing emergency contraception that removes judgement, time pressures and stigma. We are proud that The Lowdown can support young people in their choice of contraceptive going forward with access to our free contraceptive choice tools including our one of a kind contraception recommender. It needs to be easier for young people to access contraception than it is to get pregnant and this is one step in the right direction.’

A Lowdown customer, reviewing their morning after pill delivery says: ‘This is a unique service that really allows women to take control of their reproductive health. Shit happens, condoms break, and not everybody has the freedom or ability to get straight to the pharmacist the next day.’

How the morning after pill works:

  • The morning after pill is a form of emergency contraception, used after unprotected sex or when a contraceptive method has failed (e.g. due to broken condoms or missed pills), and taken in the hours or days following sexual intercourse.
  • There are two types of morning after pill. Women can either choose a pill containing the hormone levonorgestrel (called Levonorgestrel, Levonelle One Step and Ezinelle) or ellaOne, which contains the hormone ulipristal acetate.
  • Both types of morning after pill are sold by The Lowdown, with Levonorgestrel costing only £9.50 compared to between £9.99 – £25 at other mainstream pharmacies. Eradicating the sexist surcharge on emergency contraception is just another way The Lowdown is making the morning after pill more accessible, particularly to those who are unable to get it for free from a sexual health clinic within the eligible time frame.
  • Emergency contraception works by delaying ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovaries). Sperm can stay alive in the female genital tract for up to 5 days, so delaying ovulation means that sperm present in the body will most likely die before an egg is released, which reduces the chance of sperm then fertilising it.
  • The levonorgestrel based morning after pills are effective up to 72 hours (3 days) after sex. EllaOne can be used up to 120 hours (5 days) after sex.
  • The Lowdown are trialling this one-of-a-kind service because they know that the morning after pill should be taken as soon as possible after sex to have the maximum chance of being taken early enough to delay ovulation.
  • The Lowdown is the only online pharmacy in the UK to allow customers to buy two doses of either type of morning after pill at once. This can be for future use, or for individuals (with a BMI of over 26 or who weigh over 70kg) who may require two doses of the levonorgestrel based pill.

 

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Same-day morning after pill delivery service, rider Lucy (credit: The Lowdown)

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About The Lowdown: Website: thelowdown.com The Lowdown is the UK’s leading reproductive and sexual health platform. Powered by community, advice and prescriptions, they use their unique community-first approach to put women in control of their healthcare decisions. The startup was founded in 2019 after founder Alice Pelton suffered debilitating side effects from her contraception throughout her twenties. Frustrated by the lack of clinical data and poor quality of the advice she received, Alice bootstrapped and built The Lowdown’s contraception review platform to help women like her share and compare their experiences. It went viral and has built an engaged community and following that has generated over 5,000 reviews on people’s lived experiences with over 85 every method and brands of contraception. Last year The Lowdown launched the UK’s first private contraception consultation service via their team of remote expert GPs, and have since expanded the service to include sex coaching and pelvic health physios. The team has developed a suite of digital tools that are used by thousands of women every week, including a contraception recommendation algorithm based on their review data and clinical evidence. These tools are combined with seamless next-day delivery of the widest range of contraceptives in the UK including the contraceptive pill, patch, ring, injection and morning after pill.

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