DENVER— It’s time for back to school, and Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains would like to remind college students that in addition to picking up books and class schedules, they should know that keeping emergency contraception (EC) in their medicine cabinet is the best way to have a birth control back up plan in case of a contraception failure.
The National Institute of Reproductive Health recently found that “lack of awareness of EC” is a major barrier to access; 79 percent of respondents cited a lack of knowledge of how/where to get EC, and 64 percent noted the high cost of over-the-counter EC (area pharmacies charge as much as $60) as being the reason they haven’t accessed it in the past.
To help raise awareness, PPRM’s health centers will be spending the month of September educating clients and using social media to inform young adults about EC. Additionally, PPRM’s Boulder, Fort Collins, and Durango health centers will be offering EC at a discounted price of $30 on September 19.
“Accidents happen which is why it is essential for any sexually-active woman, or man for that matter, to have a back up plan in case regular contraception fails, a condom breaks, or you have unprotected sex,” said Amy Dickson, vice president of clinical operations for PPRM. “Knowing how and where to get EC is an important factor to ensure accessibility and therefore proper use.”
EC is birth control and the sooner you take it the better. Many people call EC the "morning-after pill,” but that name is a little confusing as EC can prevent pregnancy up to five days (120 hours) after unprotected sex. Emergency contraception is also known as emergency birth control, backup birth control, and by the brand names Plan B or Next Choice. EC is safe and effective and available without a prescription for men and women 17 and older.
“We are so happy to be able to help educate the public, particularly the collegiate community, about this vital tool for women’s reproductive health. We know that general lack of awareness and cost are barriers in accessing EC – we are proud that we can help lessen these hurdles,” said Dickson.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD HEALTH CENTERS OFFERING $30 EC ON SEPT. 19:
- Boulder: 2525 Arapahoe Avenue
- Fort Collins: 825 South Shields Street
- Durango: 46 Suttle Street
PPRM has also created a video to raise awareness about EC; to view it, click here.
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