Emergency Contraception

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One of the most informative, relevant sections in Sexuality Now is Chapter 13: Contraception and Abortion. I say this because proper knowledge and implementation of contraception is a key to life-long planning. Unplanned (“surprise” or “mistake”) pregnancies change lives forever, and having the right information and resources on preventing pregnancy or what options you have if you are already pregnant can make a world of difference. An example of these invaluable resources is emergency contraception. Emergency contraception can prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex, rape, or misuse or malfunction of contraception. The most well-known type of emergency contraception is Plan B, which is a single or double dose pill that reduces the chance of pregnancy 80-90% for up to 72 hours after sex. It contains the hormone progestin and prevents pregnancy by inhibiting ovulation, thickening cervical mucus and reducing endometrial buildup. It is available with a prescription for teens under 17 and without a prescription for women 17 and older. At drugstores it can cost up to $60, but may be available at a discount or for free at Planned Parenthood or through the CA Family PACT program. There are a few other types of emergency contraception; including Ella, standard birth control pills and a copper-releasing IUD. All of these methods have different rates of success and may have side effects.

Personally, I believe very strongly against using abortion as an option for a normal pregnancy. Because of this, for most of my life I really wasn’t sure how I felt about emergency contraception. I had not researched the science behind emergency contraception and was falsely under the impression that Plan B could abort or harm a fertilized egg. All of this changed two years ago when I experienced a condom ripping during intercourse with my then-boyfriend. I had heard stories from friends of condoms ripping, but I foolishly told myself that it must be because of user error (using an...
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