EC: The Back-Up I Needed


I am a 23-year-old female and have used emergency contraception twice in my life. The first
time was when I was a freshman in college – I had stupidly slept with a guy
without a condom, and while he had pulled out, I was still nervous that I could
get pregnant. At that time EC wasn’t available over the counter, so I knew I
had to go to Planned Parenthood. I deliberated back and forth, knowing that I
should go, but not wanting to because of the time it would take to get there,
the time I would have to wait, the money I would have to spend, etc.
Ultimately, I decided the risks of not going outweighed the inconvenience of
rearranging my schedule a bit. I went by myself and was definitely nervous,
even a little ashamed, at going inside the Planned Parenthood. But the
experience I had there was excellent. There were a number of other girls there
for the same reason I was, and we were taken in as a group (those that didn’t
mind doing it all together – we were given the option to meet with the nurse privately). She talked a bit about safe sex and prevention methods, but not in a
patronizing or lecturing manner. I felt that she was easy to relate to and
passed no judgment. After she spoke for a bit, she handed out prescriptions for
EC to all of us, and we were on our way.

The second time was a little less than a year ago on Memorial Day. I
had had sex the night before, and when I went to take my birth control that
morning, I saw that I had actually missed two pills in a row, instead of the
one I knew I had forgotten to take. After mentally kicking myself really hard,
I started to freak out: "It’s a holiday; is Planned Parenthood even going to be
open?" Then, I vaguely remembered reading that EC was now available over the
counter (I still am not sure where I had heard this). I called CVS, and it was
confirmed – EC was available over the counter! I immediately went to retrieve
it. Again, I had a good experience. The pharmacist, incidentally, a man, was
totally cool and gave me no problems (though I do think I was asked for my
ID).  Money again was a concern of mine, but I decided it would be better to be
safe than sorry (thankfully, I had the funds to allow me to purchase it).

I actually can’t remember where I first learned about EC. A health
class, perhaps? Commercials? It was common knowledge that it existed among me
and my friends at the time. When I first used it, though, I’m pretty sure I
thought I only had 72 hours to take it. Between that time and the second time I
used EC, I learned that there was the bigger window of 5 days in which you had
the opportunity to take it.

What was not and is not publicized enough is that EC is available over
the counter. Since I had gotten it over the counter myself, I have informed a
number of people who had no clue of it’s much easier accessibility (most
recently including my 20 year old cousin, who was in absolute distress over a
broken condom and who didn’t want to pay a visit to the doctor. She was
relieved, to say the least, to learn a simple trip to the pharmacy would solve
her problems.)

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

To schedule an interview with Jessica Perl please contact Communications Director Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.

  • invalid-0

    Thank you! This pill is a godsend, and women have the right to know about it.

    • invalid-0

      Godsend?
      God does not send anything that would kill His creations.

  • invalid-0

    This article is excellent..well written and I am sure that all women can relate on one level or another. Keep it up!

  • http://www.tumundodivertido.com invalid-0

    I think that the pill should be used and that people should know about it. As long as people use it as a backup! Accidents can happen and this is much better than an abortion later on!

  • invalid-0

    The Pill is good, but don’t count out alternatives that may be better for some, like NuvaRing!

    (The Pill can lead to reduced libido, and I understand the effect often lasts even after you stop taking it)

  • therealistmom

    … it prevents ovulation. You know, so there isn’t a zygote produced to begin with. IF by some small chance ovulation and fertilization occurs it prevents implantation, just like the up to 50% of fertilized eggs that your god supposedly makes.

     

    God doesn’t send things that kill his creations? How about, I don’t know, floods, disease microbes, famine… things that kill already formed humans.

  • everysaturdaymorning

    I gave my 26 year old little sister EC for christmas this year.Definitely the best gift I have given her. Get it before you need it. Keep it in the medicine cabinet, and worry about the details before you are on the clock.