Should I Take The Morning After Pill – Whether it’s your high school gym teacher, a knowledgeable friend, or a rogue Internet message board, many of us have warned you not to take too much emergency contraception during sex, because it will eventually make you infertile. Many people rely on emergency contraceptive pills like Plan B or Ella to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. But is this scary myth really true?
First, it’s important to understand how the “morning after pill” actually works. According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), the emergency contraceptive pill contains hormones that stop or delay ovulation to prevent pregnancy. Some pills contain one hormone, progestin, while others contain a combination of estrogen and progestin. You can buy emergency contraceptive pills in the family planning section of drugstores, and you usually don’t need a prescription.
Should I Take The Morning After Pill
Technically, you don’t need to use emergency contraception as long-term birth control, according to ACOG. Always using emergency contraception is not as effective as continuous use of birth control methods such as the pill or intrauterine device. Not to mention, buying emergency contraception is always extremely expensive compared to getting a birth control prescription. Since the pills contain high levels of hormones, taking them repeatedly can cause unpleasant side effects such as headaches, nausea or bleeding.
Science At Issue In Debate On Morning After Pill
According to ACOG, you can use the emergency contraceptive pill multiple times during your menstrual cycle and it will still work well. There haven’t really been any studies focusing on the long-term effects of frequent use of emergency contraceptive pills, but the likelihood of any serious health problems is very low. If anything, it can make your periods irregular, which isn’t ideal if you’re trying to avoid pregnancy. Again, while birth control is more effective than emergency contraceptive pills, relying on emergency methods can be dangerous.
For the myth that the emergency contraceptive pill will make you infertile? There is no scientific evidence that emergency contraception affects your fertility. So, you can tell your source that they’re clueless—and then educate them about the benefits of using a more consistent birth control method.
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The Food and Drug Administration approved emergency contraception Plan B One-Stage in 2013 without prescription or age restrictions. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
According to a report released on July 22, more than one in five sexually active teenage girls use the morning-after pill, a significant increase from a decade ago, with only one in 10 using emergency contraception.
From 2011 to 2013, nearly 2,000 U.S. adults ages 15 to 19 The report comes from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study that tracked sexual activity and contraceptive use among teens.
Explainer: What Is The Morning After Pill And How Does It Work?
The increase in emergency contraceptive use may be a result of easy access to the pill among teenagers. In 2013, the Food and Drug Administration approved emergency contraception Plan B One-Stage for use without a prescription or age restriction. The morning after pill contains higher levels of the female hormone progestin than regular birth control pills. Usually costing between $35 and $50, it reduces the chance of pregnancy by about 90% if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex.
For teenagers, in particular, freeing up access to emergency contraception and birth control pills allows them to practice safer sex in private.
In most states, birth control pills still require a prescription and a doctor’s visit, making it difficult for parents and guardians.
“There’s a lot of reasons why they’re uncomfortable because most of them aren’t going to talk to their parents about sexual activity,” says Dr. Meredith Lovelace said. . “Increased access will certainly allow people to use the method.”
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While Lovelace acknowledged that morning-after pill use is significantly higher, he said 22% is still a small number and the rates could be higher.
“You figure, if they have access, why aren’t more people using it?” she said. “We still have some room for improvement in education. I think a lot of teenagers don’t know about it, they can get it at the pharmacy and don’t know when or how to use it.
Before 2013, the morning-after pill was the subject of a long-running battle between reproductive rights activists and the FDA to approve the drug without restrictions for all women. In 2001, about two years after the pill was approved for prescription, the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a civil petition with the FDA to make Plan B available without a prescription or over the counter.
Thus began more than a decade of litigation, as the FDA gradually relaxed restrictions surrounding the pill. In 2006, the FDA agreed to make Plan B available over the counter to women 18 and older. As of 2009, those 17 and older can get the pill without a prescription.
Emergency Contraception: The Morning After Pill, Options, And Tips
Interest in over-the-counter contraceptive pills — both emergency and non-emergency — has been strong since the early 2000s. A 2004 survey of 811 women aged 18 to 44 in the United States found that 68% of women used the birth control pill, contraceptive patch, contraceptive ring, and/or emergency contraception.
Emergency contraception use has increased since 2002, but birth control pill use has decreased. Photo: Garo/Fannie/Rex_Shutterstock
More than half of women said they would be more likely to use emergency contraception if it were available over the counter at a pharmacy. Uninsured women (47%) and low-income women (40%) who do not use any hormonal contraceptives said they would start using these methods if they were available without a prescription.
Seven years later, a 2011 survey of 2,046 women found that 62% supported making birth control pills available over the counter. Statistics show that women and girls follow – now, without restrictions, more teenagers use emergency contraception.
The Take Action Morning After Pill
“There’s definitely a correlation,” said Mara Gandal-Powers, health and reproductive rights counsel at the National Women’s Law Center. “A lot has changed in the ability to access emergency contraception.”
As emergency contraceptive pill use has increased since 2002, birth control pill use has decreased from 61% in 2002 to 54% in 2011–2013. Research shows that condoms are the most common method of contraception among teenagers.
Any readily available birth control method is popular, Gandal-Powers said. Currently, birth control pills are only accessible with a doctor’s prescription, although recent laws in California and Oregon allow women to access the pill without a prescription.
“When you remove barriers to access to birth control, it means women can get it in a timely manner when they need it,” Gandal-Powers said.
Plan B Weight Limit
Removing birth control restrictions is a delicate process, Loveless said. Doctors can provide screenings for sexually transmitted diseases or infections and advise on the best type of contraception a person should use.
“Over-the-counter access is great in that we can have fewer pregnancies, but it doesn’t necessarily help people who need to be tested,” she said.
According to Lovelace, the birth control pill
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