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When it comes to emergency contraception, there are a lot of misconceptions. Many of us were first introduced to some contraception options years ago in health class or through a conversation with our parents, but many of those didn’t include emergency contraception. So, flash forward to now, our knowledge of emergency contraception may be filled with anecdotes from relatives and friends, Google searches and comments online. Unfortunately, much of the information out there can lead you down a worrying path of rumors, myths and opinions. Searching through contradicting information, especially while in an emergency situation, like a condom breaking, can be totally anxiety inducing.
As it turns out, many college-aged students are more susceptible to some of the most common myths about emergency contraception, especially related to its accessibility and long-term effects. In March of 2020, over 3,000 adults ages 18 to 34 were surveyed about their understanding of Plan B in a study* conducted by Foundation Consumer Healthcare, the maker of Plan B One-Step® emergency contraception. So, we’ve partnered with Plan B to share the facts, because knowing the facts will help you make informed decisions about your sexual health.
Read on for five facts about Plan B every college student should know:
Myth: Plan B is an abortion pill.
Fact: Plan B is not an abortion pill. Plan B is an emergency contraception pill that works by temporarily delaying ovulation. No egg. No fertilization. No pregnancy. Plan B should be used within 72 hours after unprotected sex, when your “Plan A” birth control method falls through. The sooner it’s taken, the better it works!
Myth: If you take Plan B, you might not be able to get pregnant in the future.
Fact: Plan B does not impact your future fertility or ability to get pregnant in the future. Plus, it won’t harm an existing pregnancy. So, you can choose to use Plan B to help achieve your short-term goals without affecting your future family plans.
Myth: Plan B can only be taken a few times in your life.
Fact: 45% of college students believe that emergency contraception gets less effective each time you use it, but that’s not true. Plan B can be safely used again after another instance of unprotected sex or birth control failure. Plan B doesn’t provide long term protection against future pregnancy – when taken as directed, it works to help prevent pregnancy after only one incidence of unprotected sex.
Myth: You need a prescription or ID to purchase Plan B.
Fact: 60% of college students believe there is an age restriction when purchasing emergency contraception, but there isn’t. Plan B is available right off the shelf at all major retailers like CVS Health, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Walmart and Target – no prescription or ID required. There’s no age requirement, either – anyone can buy it. Many pharmacies are offering curbside pickup and same-day delivery of essentials, like emergency contraception. You can check with your local retailer to see if that’s available to you!
Myth: There are state restrictions on Plan B access.
Fact: There are no state restrictions on purchasing Plan B. You can get it right off the shelf without a prescription in any state in the U.S, and you won’t need to show an ID.
Remember, knowing your options gives you the power to own your future goals, whatever they may be. Learn more about Plan B One-Step here. Find a Plan B retailer near you, here.
Disclosure: The information in this Article may be useful but does not constitute medical advice. This Article is not used to make diagnoses, prescribe medicine or provide treatment, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with qualified health professionals who are familiar with your individual medical needs. For questions about birth control and other women’s health issues, please talk to your healthcare professional.
*FCH, online survey of 3,110 18-34 adults.