Because I lack proper insurance and money, I still go to Planned Parenthood. It’s been a goal of mine to visit an official OB-GYN, but Planned Parenthood has been good to me over the years and I am very thankful for that.
I am on the MN Family Planning Program. I’ve been covered by this program on and off since college. I like it because I get low-cost or free birth control (depending on my financial situation) and I get a free physical once a year. So far, it’s been great. However, since I graduated college, they’ve started throwing in several doses of Next Choice in with my tri-monthly refills.
Next Choice is the over the counter (prescription to women younger than age 17) medicine that is taken after unprotected intercourse (up to 72 hours after). It’s two pills that you have to take in order to postpone ovulation. This freaked the hell out of me, so I read the side effects in detail:
- Menstrual changes
- Lower stomach pain
- Breast Pain
- VOMITING<– big read flag for an emetophobe such as myself.
It even reads on the front ‘Not for regular birth control.’ With this in mind, I assume women aren’t suppose to be stocking up on these things. However, for the last two years the Planned Parenthood has been sneaking them in with my normal medication. I know have a years worth of Next Choice when I’m not suppose to even use it that often. Every time I get a refill, I have to make the request of NO MORE NEXT CHOICE!
I have every single box of Next Choice given to me, untouched and in the back of my closet. They take up so much damn space.
I talked with the doctor the last time I was at Planned Parenthood about this. It turns out the program that I’m covered by encourages clinics to hand out Next Choice like they’re Skittles. They still hand out the tried and true condoms, but I believe there is a limit (the one in the Clinic I go to has a jar of them with a sign that says ‘Limit 3’). There is no limit on Next Choice.
The doctor I talked to praised me for being so coherent about my reproductive health, and for acknowledging the insanity of the Next Choice pill. According to her, and I agree, it’s the government’s way of saying two things:
1.) It’s okay to have unprotected sex. Just take this magical pill the next morning and you’ll be right as rain!
2.) You are going to have unprotected sex, and you’re going to have it ALL THE TIME!
I wonder, out of all the women they hand these pills out too, who uses it regularly as a replacement for traditional birth control? And what has happened to their health? I would like the appropriate government officials to take a look at this policy one more time, and reevaluate the needs of women based on what is better for their reproductive health. Could this money be directed towards lowering the costs of healthier birth control methods even further?
I’m sure the Next Choice pills work just fine when women use them as they’re intended. I just dread a growing trend in women abusing this pill, and eventually destroying their health.