Plan B: When Birth Control Gets Out of YOUR Control

I love that preventing pregnancy is called ‘birth control’…. it’s hysterical to me that we humans think we control anything! Anyway… with the full moon this weekend and everything, I found that all controls were malfunctioning and I needed my doctor fast! I had read about Plan B’s effectiveness as an emergencey contraceptive….after the deed is done…. by dosing with two hits of progestin within 72 hours of sex. The sooner you take it the more effective it is. It was Sunday and a hard day to get a hold of my doctor, so THANK GOD we live in California. It’s one of the few states that ‘Plan B’ is available to women without a doctor’s prescription. Not all pharmacies have a pharmacist who can prescribe it… and the certified pharmicist must be one hand to counsel you, so definately call first, but Plan B’s web-site handily lists all the paharmicies in the state who can sell this without a doctor visit involved. There were six in Hollywood alone. It was quick, cheap and painless and the pharmicist was friendly and helpful. He was funny too, commenting that he can always tell when it’s a full moon because he’s super busy the next day prescribing Plan B!
Now if the FDA could just get off their asses and make this drug more accessable in the whole country, (they’ve agreed it is safe and can be sold over the counter, but the damn right wing faction is causing them to drag their heels) that would be a great help to women (and men) everywhere. The FDA votes on it this week, so if you are so inclined, you might want to drop them a line.

7 Replies to “Plan B: When Birth Control Gets Out of YOUR Control”

  1. Great post – more people should know about Plan B’s availability and possible effectiveness. Plan B was recently a headline in our local indy weekly here in Sacramento, but they got one part dangerously wrong (or if not “wrong” at least dangerously flippant). (I posted the rant here: http://sacramento.metblogs.com/archives/2006/08/its_called_plan_b_for_a_reason.phtml).

    There’s a LOT of politicking surrounding making the drug more widely and easily available – much of it stems from the same well of fear that slows mandatory HPV vaccination: but now our daughters will think it’s FINE to have massive amounts of sex before marriage! Someone, access to effective birth control (preventative and emergency) will make us all raging sluts.

    What the Sacto article got wrong was implying that the advent of EC (emergency contraception – and Plan B specifically) lessens the need for responsible sexual planning generally: ie, no, Plan B does NOT mean you get to ditch condoms.

    For more on Plan B and all forms of emergency contracpetion, check out this site: http://ec.princeton.edu/

    It’s worth noting as well, for readers in other states or in ares where they can’t find a qualified pharmacy (or, horror of horrors, they run into pharmacists who place their personal politics above their duty as pharmacists) that many forms of birth control pills can be taken in certain combinations to effect the same result as Plan B.

    Don’t just double up, though, do your homework or call your doctor or local Planned Parenthood for the right and safe combination. Also, side-effects such as nausea are more commone with pill forms of EC rather than Plan B.

    Go forth and be safe!

  2. Thanks for the support CD… I thought long and hard before posting this…. my boyfriend, bless his protective soul, felt I shouldnt due to the personal nature of it….but I do feel strongly that women should know that it’s easily accesable. And safe. I”m pretty informed, and I didn’t know until this weekend that you didn’t need to go to a doctor for it, at least here in CA. Information is power.

  3. And thank god they are – I’ve been getting so tired of, like, thinking for myself and holding myself accountable to myself and my God. Phew. Thanks, Federal Government!

  4. Tammara – you are sadly right to have to worry about such things since there are people out there who would happily judge you for your actions. I applaud you for being open about your decision and for helping educate readers about EC.

    It usually comes as a surprise to people that no prescription is required here in California.

    Also: many providers will now give you a prescription to keep on hand anyway – either keep the paper or go get the medication when you aren’t in the middle of completely freaking out, so you don’t have to face potentially judgmental and ignorant eyes when you really, really don’t need to. Plus having it on hand shortens the time before you take it, thus increasing its effectiveness.

    And know that when you go to pick up Plan B, you’ll have to fill out a few surveys and be counseled on taking it safely, etc. You won’t just grab it and go.

  5. I know it is readily available at UCLA’s campus even without the emergency at large. The reason they do this is because the student health center is closed over the weekend, so what’s a girl to do if she finds herself in a similar situation as yours on a Friday night?

    At least some college campuses are a little more forward thinking about this than our federal government.

Comments are closed.