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For those with experience, you probably know what I'm going to talk about. For those who are still asking, I am going to talk about my experience with a hormonal emergency contraception pill, otherwise known as the morning after pill or the 'plan B' pill. Plan B in itself is a brand and there are other emergency birth control pills sold generally in pharmacies. In this post I'm going to talk about Postinor-2 because that's the one I used. 

Before you start reading further, there are some clarifications I would like to list down: 

  • I am still a virgin. A person's virginity is no one's business, however, I just want to clear that up.
  • What I did before taking the EC pill will not be disclosed for public consumption so no details about that, either. I will only tell you that it did not involve any exchange of body fluid.
  • The reason why I took the pill was thanks to my paranoia of unwanted pregnancy.
  • I am not an expert in these things but I have done some research and asked my gynaecologist for medical tips, opinions and advice. However, I still suggest you read thoroughly and take my words with a grain of salt.
  • Try not to skip anything because every bit is kind of, sort of important.

Basic Science

Emergency contraception pills come in two types: a progestin-only "levonorgestrel" pill and a combined progestin-estrogen pill. Minipills like Plan B and Postinor are levonorgestrel and when used, they are meant to prevent ovulation by delaying or inhibiting the surge of lutenizing hormone (responsible for ovulation), prevent fertilization and/or prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus. It does not, however, kill or damage sperm. It also does not terminate pregnancy which means it is NOT an abortion pill. People who are against abortion tend to misjudge and think that plan B is equivalent to abortion pill but no, that role belongs to mifepristone and misoprostol. If an egg is delayed and sperm cannot plant on anything, it is not abortion. Last but not least, even though plan B works up to 72 hours, it is best to take them right away. The faster you take it, the more effective it is.

My experience

In my case, I took the EC pill 20 hours after 'the deed' which was two days before my predicted ovulation and during my fertile days. Just in case using dates help guide you to follow the flow, I took the pill on May 2 and my predicted ovulation was on May 4. Like with Plan B, there are two versions of Postinor available — one that comes in a single 1.5 mg dose and another one in two pills at 0.75 mg each. Since mine was Postinor-2, that means I had the two pills version. According to the manufacturer's website, you are supposed to take the first dose and then the second one exactly 12-hours after. I personally took both at the same time, which is equally as effective. My guess is that the 12-hours interval is to prevent common side effects like nausea, headache and throwing up.

Unlike my friend who gets nauseous and stomach cramps after taking EC pill, I did not experience any of that. For me, the side effects were mostly fatigue, sleepiness and dizziness. They subsided after about an hour or two, though. Keep in mind that these are common temporary side effects and will usually pass within 24 hours. Anything that goes beyond 48 hours should be checked out by gynecologist.

11 days later, two weeks of irregular bleeding and spotting

Okay, this is where it gets a little gross. 5 days before my predicted period, I got dry, oxidized brown-black blood on my tissue paper when I wiped. At first I thought it was my scanty, light period so I tried to drink soda (because I had a scanty period once and drinking coke helped ease the flow) but to no avail. 5 days have passed and I was still bleeding the same way and that's when I knew that it was not aunt flow — it's irregular vaginal bleeding called spotting. Common causes of spotting include hormonal contraceptives, early pregnancy and infections. Since infection was definitely ruled out, I had to take a home pregnancy test (even though I was sure it's going to be negative) to officially rule it out. One week passed and the bleeding persisted so I freaked out and decided to make an appointment with my gynecologist yesterday.


Long story short, plan B messed my hormones up. I am fully aware of how EC pill can screw up my menstrual cycle but to this extend? I guess I'm just one of those people whose body reacts so sensitively to sudden hormonal imbalance and fluctuation. Vaginal bleeding that occurs for 2-3 days is considered normal but anything beyond a week should definitely be assessed. My gynecologist basically did an ultrasound and told me how the pill caused my period blood to accumulate so much it end up stuck inside. All in all, my gynecologist prescribed me Primolut N, a norethisterone medication meant to treat gynecological disorders, menstrual disorders and menopausal hormone therapy. I was prescribed this same drug two months ago when I missed a month of period but this time, she prescribed me to take it for 10 days. Based on my experience with norethisterone, those who are prescribed this drug will have their period within a week. As a backup plan, if things do not work out the way they are supposed to, I will have to take Cyclo-Progynova which is a medication used for hormone therapy. According to my gynecologist, unlike Primolut N, Cyclo-Progynova will take over my hormones and balance them out.

As of now, I'm just going to have my fingers crossed and hope that norethisterone works the way it should, the way it did two months ago. My gynecologist also told me to avoid eating too much sugar, deep fried and junk food as well as soy. Apparently, if you suffer from long-term irregular cycle, these food tend to screw up your hormones.

Birth control pills vs emergency contraception: which one works better?

In conclusion, my gynecologist suggested that using regular birth control pills like Diane-35 works better due to its combination of synthetic progestin and estrogen. Of course, different brands may vary in affect depending on the individual who use them. For example, I've heard people say Diane-35 cause severe hormonal acne so they had to switch. It all comes back to how our body responds to it. The same thing can be said about emergency contraception. For me personally, having experienced this with plan B, I don't think I'll opt to use it again unless I desperately need to. I might just get the regulated birth control pills in the future.

Another reason why I hate plan B is how it ruins my mood for three whole weeks. Three whole freaking weeks has been horribly filled with depression, mood swings and constant irritation. I was practically affected by every single thing and I just felt so, so angry it's crazy. To make matter worse, it really spikes up my appetite. I've been told that plan B may give you pregnancy symptoms so I guess this was what happened. Even though the regulated combined pills have the potential to screw up my mood and appetite as well, I'd rather take that if it means my period cycle won't get screwed. That said, if I were to choose, I'd pick Diane-35 over Postinor anytime unless I'm in a pinch and the situation calls for plan B desperately.

Plan B: Things to keep in mind

  • The morning after pill is not an abortion pill. If your egg is fertilized before plan B can do its thing, you are screwed...or blessed, whichever you prefer.
  • Some people have said that plan B does not work for them once they have ovulated. In theory, this makes sense because plan B's main job is to delay ovulation so once the egg is released, it may not be as effective. You can read more about it here. However, others have said that they took it during ovulation phase and they stayed protected. I personally do not recommend testing your luck once ovulation has happened. I would also recommend doing an ovulation test before engaging in an intercourse during your fertile window.
  • Vaginal bleeding is said to be caused by the effect of plan B dissipating from our bloodstream. This is also known as withdrawal bleeding. Once the hormone progestin drops, it cause uterine lining to shed, leading to spotting.
  • Taking a home pregnancy test during vaginal bleeding will not affect test results. This is especially useful because one might mistake withdrawal bleeding as early pregnancy implantation bleeding (although implantation bleeding is very rare.)
  • Once pregnancy is ruled out, spotting from plan B is considered normal as long as it lasts no more than a week. If that happens, seek a gynecologist as constant spotting may lead to anemia so don't ignore it.
  • Plan B may alter your period until the next month or possibly more which means the next time aunt flow knocks on your door, it might be extremely light or heavy. It's also possible to skip a month of period so if you are worried, go to a gynecologist.
  • It is recommended to only take plan B once per cycle. Taking it more than once will definitely screw up your cycle even more.
  • Likewise, plan B only helps you one time which means if you have unprotected sex again after taking plan B, you will need another dose or ask a gynecologist for alternative emergency contraceptive methods. This is why if you are sexually active, it is advisable to start a regular birth control pill instead.
  • Additionally, plan B does not prevent sexually transmitted diseases.

Honestly, I wasn't sure if I wanted to publish something like this. My blog has always been so filtered in a sense that I don't talk about mature things I'm curious about — like birth control method and sex, for example. But once in a while I do want to express my curiosity about them.

Being in my 20s, I shouldn't feel embarrassed about these things. I mean, why should I be if this means I can get to know more about my femininity? Society tends to suppress our thoughts and curiosity about these things and I'm kind of sick with the level of prudishness the world insists on us, especially women.

We should be able to talk and question these things without the fear of being labeled as, well, cheap. I am making this post as my first step towards being open and honest about who I am, my body and my feminine curiosity.

by Isabel Marcelo

by Isabel

I have traveled to many cities in my 22 years and I’ve lived in three. Some places I’ve enjoyed more than others. In the three different cities I’ve lived in, I’ve found that there is one key thing you need in order to love the city you live in—no matter where you are in the world.

But before I tell you what that one thing is, I’m going to tell you about my own journey in what it’s been like to live in three different continents across the world.

Let’s start with the city I was born in: Perth. The capital of Western Australia, yet I still manage to find people who have still never heard of it. (No, it’s not near Sydney or Melbourne. Not at all.) Perth has always been a city in progress. And I think any Perthian would agree the progress has been slow. But slow and steady wins the race and we’ve been able to grow by learning from the east coast. (Thanks Sydney and Melbourne for all the things you didn’t do right!)

Life in Perth is laidback and quiet. 90% of the time the weather consists of blue skies and sunshine. It doesn’t take much to live a good life; to earn a lot of money and fill your days up with morning coastal walks and flat whites with avocado on toast for brunch, and nights out in the city. A lot of people move to Perth for this comfortable lifestyle.

But despite this paradise of a life, Perth can feel like a bubble. For the impatient, big dreamers, yearning for more in little ol’ Perth, it can feel like you’ll never get anywhere by staying. I felt like this during my teenage years. And it made me hate the city. So much so, that when I finished high school, I moved to a place much much bigger than Perth. I moved to Los Angeles.

I’d been to LA only once before I moved there and fell in love with it instantly. During this time, Perth was still developing, and so I found Perth to be incredibly boring. LA was exciting and fun and there was so much to do. But after a couple months, my love for the city was overtaken with a strong sense of loneliness and homesickness. I realised how much I wasn’t ready to be away from home and came back to Perth.

My love for Perth grew as more shops, cafes and events started coming. Perth was turning into a city I enjoyed. But after a few years, I felt as if I’d outgrown Perth. I was 21 years old and I loved my life in Perth so much but there was something missing.

I was finding more and more things about my hometown that would frustrate me. Travelling to other countries especially made me realise how much I didn’t want to stay in that bubble any longer. I couldn’t connect with the city or its people anymore. I wanted more out of life. I wanted the bustle and rush of a big city. So, I moved to London.

Isabel in her flat in London

I could never quite put my finger on why I loved London. It’s the complete opposite of Perth and that’s what made me want to move there so badly. There was something about the city that connected with me. It somehow made me feel so much more like me. But living in a city you love is very different to staying there on a holiday. And as if I didn’t learn this the first time around in LA, I’d have to learn it again.

There are so many amazing things about London. There’s always something going on somewhere, no matter the day. (I feel like that’s such a cliche things to say about London–but it’s true.) And being so close to Europe, you’re only a short flight away from some of the other most amazing cities in the world.

But living in London is difficult. Everything is expensive. Everything. And getting a job doesn’t make things that much easier when you’re only getting minimum wage. (Or lower than that in a lot of cases.)

I always had this joke before moving to London, where I wanted to know what it felt like to struggle. My London mates would tell me I wouldn’t have a problem with that. And after living here for a few months now, I can safely say they were right.

For a moment, it didn't feel like I was living in London. It felt like I was surviving. Barely. And it really got to me. It got to me so much that I almost made the decision to move back home. Back to the safe and easy life of Perth.

Then one drunken night out in East London, I had an epiphany. I realised how unhappy I was within myself. I realised that every time life got a little difficult, I’d try and fix it by moving to a new city. But it would never really fix the problem because all I’d be doing was trying to escape it. And soon enough, those issues I thought I’d solved would come creeping back and it would make me hate the city I was in again. And so, for the first time in my life, I decided to stay where I was.

I decided to face my problems head on and not take the easy way out. And as I found happiness within myself, I found happiness in London. The thing about where you live is–there’s only so much you can change if you’re unhappy about it.

What really makes a difference is your mindset. And how do you have a positive mindset? Self love. When you really take care of yourself to feel happy within, it radiates an energy out into the world. Your perspective changes and you see your situation in a new light.

I always thought my environment affected my mood–and yes–in some ways it does. But I’d always end up blaming my surroundings on my discontentment and never looked at the one factor that was always there: myself.

It took me living in three different cities to understand that no matter how much I moved–if I didn’t love the life I was living and more importantly, the person I was–I’d never truly love the city I was in. Third time’s a charm, I guess.
by Elise Liddell

Illustration by the talented Natalie Harney from workovereasy

In a world where society shifts the blame game and makes us look bad for soaking ourselves in temporary happiness, we are a group of little moths trapped by flame of a culture screaming success under twenty-five. The Youth Culture. The era where getting that venti-sized coffee from Starbucks is deemed improper as opposed to cashing out for marriage, for a house, for future children. We don't cash out for little treaties, we save. We don't buy things impulsively, we keep the dollars and bury them underneath the pillow we sleep (figuratively, I hope.) We don’t go out every weekend for refreshments, we store whatever we earn behind steel safe box encoded with passwords. Whatever the deal is, you get the gist - the youth culture, notoriously labeled as ‘the millennials’, spends too much on the unnecessary.

Growing up, I never experienced what it’s like to eat my meal on a silver plate paired with a glistening, well-polished silver spoon. I never understood what it’s like being given the things I wanted - or how easy that could have been. Contrary to popular beliefs, being the only child does not guarantee anything. As a result, I knew what it’s like to be an underpaid employee, to struggle with inflation and to worry about how to balance my paycheck. Suddenly treating myself seems to be an unwanted anomaly in my agenda. 

That was until I realized two major things: one, life in itself is expensive so no matter how hard one tries to save, you can only do so much before succumbing to dysfunctional stress that can lead to worse outcomes such as excessive impulsive and unstoppable purchases. Two, humans need refreshments because that’s just how we function. We dread the stress and the pressure and we need outlets to boost our creativity, to get our spiritual dynamo up and running. Of course, that’s not to say that I am telling you to go on and burn all your hard-earned cash. What I’m suggesting is to not deny the need of refreshment supplies but to keep things balanced. Do as they say: moderation is key.

The easiest step I would suggest is to set a target budget by breaking your salary into two parts: the ones you’ll save (and will not be touching for any reason) and the ones you’ll be using for this month. An alternative to this would be to set a target on how much you are supposed to have at the end of the month. Unlike the first step, the second one requires a stronger self-control but comes with a bigger room to breathe. I personally am more of the latter since cutting my budget to 50-50 on each side may not be ideal, considering how sometimes I have sudden bills that I have to pay. I would say the first option is a much safer bet if you find it hard to restrain yourself, happen to have shopping as a hobby or cannot predict how much you MIGHT have by the end of the month.

As a correlation to the first suggestion, the second step would be to create a separate bank account - consider it your savings account but not necessarily a deposit. Unless there is a high priority emergency, you are not supposed to withdraw a cent from this account. In my case, this is what I’m planning to do in the future once my primary account has reached a particular amount. 

These are just my personal takes on how I moderately treat myself. It goes on without saying that your method will differ from mine. Nobody tells us, or in this case me, the way to adulthood and budgeting is definitely something I’m still learning as I go. Whether it’s the simplest thing like going to Mcdonalds for a Mcflurry or buying myself a new pair of jeans, we deserve a little bit of this and that sometimes. It can be as simple as getting a cup of Joe that may be a little bit pricier than your regular dose and that, I suppose, would be a nice little treat too.
by Isabel Marcelo

Kinga Cichewiczwi

My mother is the most giving person I know. To this day, I’ve watched my mother put everyone else before herself. She’s always been like this. At a young age, she experienced one of the worst human experiences possible: the death of her own mother. The way my mother dealt with this is beyond me. Her resilience is something I’ve always aspired to attain.

Whenever I’d ask her about how she was when it all happened, she’d say, “I wasn’t going to let that affect me. What was I going to do? Go ‘WAHH WAHH’ and cry forever because my mother is dead? No! I took care of my brother and sister!” She was 9 years old when this happened. I know right, my mother is insane.

Growing up in the Philippines, she had one goal and one goal only: leave the country. She wanted a good life and she knew she wasn’t going to get it in the Philippines. After her mother died, she started hustling.

She’d go to the markets, ask the sellers if she could work for them, and when they’d agree, they’d give her handfuls of bags to sell and she’d go out, sell them all, then come back and ask for more bags to sell.

They’d always be surprised how quickly she could sell. My mother has always had this saying, “I can sell ice to an eskimo!” And I’m sure if she ever had the chance, she’d bloody do it. And she’d do it well.

Not only was she an excellent saleswoman, she was also a brilliant leader. In fact, she was kind of a gang leader (if one could be at a pre-teen age). Within her neighbourhood she was known as the Street Queen. She was like a young, female Godfather.

Kids would come running to her with their problems saying, “Bambi! Bambi! This kid is picking on me!” And she would round up her gang and go confront the bully. Sometimes it would end in a physical fight. Yes. My mother was just as insane back then.

When she was 17, she saw an ad on TV for a dance company that would be holding auditions for a European tour. She saw this as an opportunity to leave her home and finally build a good life for herself and for her siblings. She went to the auditions and made it into the company.

Soon enough, she was living her dream, touring around Europe as a dancer. It didn’t take long before she brought her younger sister out to Spain to be with her and experience this amazing life that she was now living. And as for her younger brother–she had made the decision to bring him to Australia when she knew she’d be moving there.

My mother’s whole life has been focused on building a good life for herself so that she could build a good life for her family. Soon after her mother died, she told herself, “Everything stops from me onwards. I will be the one to change things. Life will be good as of now. No one else will have to suffer.” I, along with many other people, owe a lot to my mother and that one decision she made.

My mother truly did build an amazing life for herself. She left the Philippines, moved to Spain, travelled around Europe living her dream as a dancer, married the love of her life, and raised a family in Australia where now–her son is a successful photographer/videographer/business man, and her daughter (me)–is living her dream, making a life for herself in London. As for my mother’s siblings–they are both happily married with their own families, living their own amazing life.

But my mother hasn’t only helped her family. She’s helped everyone that has ever come into her life that needed help. She’s helped her friends, and her kids’ friends, and friends of friends of friends…

Sometimes I would come home and she would introduce me to people she’d met that day and within a week, she’d have found jobs for them. Yes–my mother–despite being insane, is still the most giving and compassionate human being I know.

Through all of this, the most important thing she taught me was to put myself first. This is coming from one of the most unselfish people I know. But it’s true–in order to give to others, in order to love others, you must give and love to yourself first.

There’s no way my mother could have helped and supported all the people around her, if she didn’t take care of herself first. She made sure that she was always living a life first and foremost for herself.

Even when she met my father and they moved to Spain together, she still put herself first. She let my father live his life and she lived hers. She never needed anyone because she knew at the end of the day—she’d only have herself.

Since I was a young girl up until now, she’d always tell me, “Enjoy your life. Travel the world. Don’t worry about getting into a relationship. Don’t worry about settling down. All of that will come. For now–just enjoy your life.” And I’ve lived by those words since.
by Hannah Cao

Soragrit Wongsa

I apologise to you, for everything you’ve been through because of me. I’m sorry you got mistreated in primary school and how it threw you off after being so welcomed in kindergarten. I’m sorry it poisoned your self-esteem and the way you would see your worth. I’m sorry for the confusion you experienced because I kept telling you that you were the problem, the one in the wrong.

I’m sorry you felt the need to adapt to everyone around you starting in high school, in case they would abandon you, and make up ridiculous lies to make them notice and like you and welcome you into their group when you genuinely didn’t have to do that and it backfired on you. I’m sorry I made you believe that you had to go that route. I’m sorry you were so desperate that, at one point, you found yourself trying to please people who didn’t even deserve your friendship.

You didn’t go to parties or clubs, not because you weren’t allowed, but because you believed it wouldn’t have made a difference.

You never wanted to be invisible, because that’s all you’d feel in the middle of the night, or locked up in school bathrooms, or on the way home in your father’s car. But you were. Invisible, only with a voice to be autotuned so your surrounding would notice you sometimes.

It still nags at you, doesn’t it? Is this why you grew to being so quiet? Is this what makes you shrink when you’re out in a group where there’s louder, more extroverted girls? Because you believe everyone will like them more anyway?

I’m sorry I grew poison in your young self-esteem that’s still being fought to this day.

I’m apologising to you, my dear, my self.
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