Doctors Say Prescribe Emergency Contraception Before Sex
January 15, 2013
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggest that girls be prescribed emergency contraception (EC) (also known as the morning-after pill) before they start having vaginal sex. Why? Because pediatricians believe girls are more likely to use EC when they need it most, such as right after they realize the condom broke or they remember that they didn’t take their pill that morning. Wouldn’t you be more likely to use a medication you already had a prescription for than something you had to make an appointment to see a doctor to get a prescription for?
Having EC available sounds good to me. If doctors prescribed EC, explained how to use it and how it works before a girl begins having vaginal sex, I think a lot of unplanned pregnancies could be avoided. But a lot of teens don’t know about emergency contraception, how to get it or that the pills can be taken up to 120 hours after unprotected sex or sex where the method of birth control failed. Girls under the age of 17 have to get a prescription from a health care provider first. Wouldn’t it be easier and more convenient to just buy it over the counter at the nearest drugstore?
Unfortunately, until the federal policy changes, girls are going to have to wait until they’re 17 or older to purchase EC over the counter. In the meantime, doctors are suggesting that girls under 17 get a prescription—just in case. Then girls—whether they’ve had vaginal sex yet or not—always have a plan b.