ASAP Science (of “Morning wood” and “Science of orgasms” fame) has yet another super-cool, super-informative video—this one’s on how emergency contraception (EC) works. Not only does it have cute drawings and explain a complex scientific process in under 3 minutes, it also debunks the common myth that emergency contraception causes abortion. BONUS: It has a nice explanation of how the pill works, too.
If all the myth-busting whets your appetite, we’ve got an article on EC myths that might be of interest. And while you’re thinking about EC, why not read about the all-time most effective method of EC you can get your little animation-loving hands on?
The majority of the 210 first-year college students who participated in the study were unable to use websites and Internet search engines to identify the most efficient way to acquire emergency contraception pills (ECPs) in a time of need, said Eszter Hargittai, lead author of the study and associate professor of communication studies at Northwestern.
From “Students find emergency contraception info hard to locate,” posted to Evanston Now on June 14th, 2012.
We know that for various reasons it can be tricky to access EC (emergency contraception) in a timely fashion—kind of a problem in an emergency situation. That’s why Bedsider has a separate database for EC in our “Where to get it” section. But there’s more work to be done…
We got as much information as we could (including every Safeway in the country—whew!), but there are lots of places to get EC that aren’t in there… yet. Which is where you come in. When you search your zip code, you’ll see a link below the map that says “Are we missing a location for EC? Let us know.”
So, if you—or someone you know—have found EC (at a clinic, at a pharmacy, at a supermarket… you get the idea) in your area, now’s your chance to share the wisdom and make EC information just a little easier to find online.
By 2007, scientific consensus was building that morning-after pills did not block implantation. In one study using fertilized eggs that would have been discarded from fertility clinics, Dr. Gemzell-Danielsson found that adding Plan B in a dish did not prevent them from attaching to cells that line the uterus.
Later, in 2007, 2009 and 2010, researchers in Australia and Chile gave Plan B to women after determining with hormone tests which women had ovulated and which had not.
None who took the drug before ovulation became pregnant, underscoring how Plan B delays ovulation. Women who had ovulated became pregnant at the same rate as if they had taken no drug at all. In those cases, there were no difficulties with implantation, said one of the researchers, Gabriela Noé, at the Instituto Chileno de Medicina Reproductiva in Santiago. Dr. Blithe of the N.I.H., said, ‘No one can say that it works to inhibit implantation based on these data.’
Method Monday: Emergency Contraception (EC)
In honor of the Back Up Your Birth Control Day of Action (coming up this very Wednesday), we’re featuring emergency contraception, a.k.a. EC, for our Method Monday this week! The Back Up Your Birth Control theme this year is EC=BC—an excellent choice given the amount of confusion and misinformation floating around online and in the media RE how EC works. You can learn more about the different EC options on our site, but in a nutshell, the reason you have to take it as soon after the (f)act as possible is because it doesn’t work if you’re pregnant. EC can only prevent a pregnancy from starting; it can’t stop one that already has. And if you accidentally take EC before you know you’re pregnant, it won’t hurt you or the pregnancy. A few more noteworthy tidbits about EC:
- Unlike jumping around, douching with strange substances, or praying he pulled out in time, EC works pretty darn well if taken asap after unprotected sex/condom breakage/etc. Though using an effective method before having sex is still better.
- Plan B One-Step, a popular form of EC, came close to being approved for over-the-counter status—which would’ve meant it would be available on drug store shelves just like Aspirin or condoms—back in December 2011. But the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services overruled the FDA’s recommendation, so it’s still behind the counter and prescription-only for anyone under 17.
- Anyone 17 or older has the right to purchase certain forms of EC (namely Plan B One-Step, Next Choice, and Levonorgestrel) without a prescription. This goes for dudes, too. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
- Some forms of EC don’t work as well for women with higher body mass index (BMI). For those women, the ParaGard IUD is probably the best emergency contraceptive option.
- The most effective form of EC (for anyone) is the ParaGard IUD. Unfortunately, it seems a lot of folks don’t know that, and the fact that many health care providers don’t talk about it doesn’t help.
- A higher dose of certain birth control pills after sex works as emergency contraception—though you should consult our article on the Yuzpe method, and/or talk to your health care provider to make sure you get the dosage right.
If your thirst for EC info isn’t quite sated, check out this montage of our Real Stories women talking about their experiences with EC.
And guys know what EC is too! At least our Real Stories guys do:
(Yes, we heard it too—he totally said “my swimmers got past her, her defenders.” Cute or weird? Kinda cute, right?)
BeforePlay and Beyond
This isn’t the first time we’ve posted about Beforeplay.org and it probably won’t be the last. We’re so psyched to be working with them and to see them getting some much-deserved media attention. Though their excellent, locally tailored campaign is all their own, you may have noticed traces of Bedsider on the website itself.
Martha Kempner noted in her RH Reality Check piece about the Colorado-based campaign that there “are now countless websites devoted to sharing information about contraception, STDs, and sexual health…each has a slightly different audience but I do question whether we could do even better if we just pooled our resources to make existing sites better rather than continue to put up new ones.” It’s nice to be able to say that in this case, Bedsider and the BeforePlay folks did just that. BeforePlay uses Bedsider’s health center and emergency contraception (EC) finder databases and their team helped us to improve the information the databases offer on Colorado health centers and EC. BeforePlay also used some of our information and images (the method detail pages and “Real Stories” will look particularly familiar to Bedsider users) in their birth control section.
We’ve put a lot into our site with the goal of being a resource to individuals as well as health care providers and other partners, but we can’t be all things to all audiences, so we love that the BeforePlay team took what they found useful from Bedsider and tailored it to Coloradans. We hope to work with other state and local partners in similar ways going forward. There are plenty of ways to use our resources already by embedding videos from our YouTube channel or using our free birth control finder on your own website. We also invite you to reach out via info[at]bedsider[dot]org if you know of a state or local initiative you think we should work with.
And now, another BeforePlay video we love for your viewing pleasure:
We love the House of Pain song as much as anyone (go ahead and click through to listen—we’ll wait), but is jumping around an effective method of pregnancy prevention?
Did we mention that dudes are allowed to buy emergency contraception?
Well, this isn’t the first time we’ve posted this video, but we felt it needed to be a shared again in light of yet another report of a pharmacy (CVS) refusing EC to guys. Seriously, folks, guys are allowed to buy EC. It says right here in our Fact or Fiction video.