The Truth about the Morning-After Pill

2001 Words9 Pages
The Truth about the Morning-After Pill During her freshman year at Northeastern University, 19-year-old Jennifer Grant* thought college was just about doing minimal homework, going to parties, and meeting new people. She looked forward to every weekend when she was invited to parties with upperclassmen. Sadly, her world fell apart when she was raped by another student who was an acquaintance. Scared and confused from the experience, she turned to her friends for help. “They mentioned rumors of this ‘morning-after’ pill that would help you from getting pregnant,” Grant said. She wanted to go to the Lane Health Center, but it was Sunday and she knew it was closed. She looked on the Internet for information on what she thought was a “magic pill” and discovered she could still take it two days later. On Monday, she walked into the Lane Health Center and after waiting a few minutes, she was assisted by a nurse. After she nervously explained what had happened, she said she was given a survey that contained a series of medical questions. In addition to the emergency contraception pill, a pregnancy test was administered and she was tested for sexually transmitted diseases. "They did everything they could to help me and make me feel comfortable,” Grant said. “The only thing on my mind was, ‘I can’t get pregnant!’” The emergency contraception pill (ECP), most commonly known as “the morning-after pill,” is a back-up birth control method that is used after unprotected sex, contraceptive failure, or rape. It prevents pregnancy from occurring, however, it is not a method for abortion nor does it protect against sexually transmitted diseases. ECPs do not necessarily need to be taken the “morning-after.” They can be taken up to 120 hours after unprotected sex but the sooner it is taken, the more effective it is. According to Pamela Harris, the Health Promotion & Planning Coordinator at Lane Health Center, if it is taken within the first 72 hours after unprotected sex, the risk of pregnancy is reduced to a 15 percent to 25 percent chance. There are several different kinds of ECPs available. The most commonly used is Plan B. At Lane Health Center, Ovral, Lo-Ovral, and Levlen are other kinds of ECPs that are provided. ECPs are easy to use and are orally ingested. With Plan B, two doses are taken; one as soon as possible and the other about 12 hours later.
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