Free contraceptives available through Health Services

Free contraceptives available through Health Services

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Cody Finney / The Arbiter

Students protect themselves from computer viruses by downloading or purchasing virus protection. Many people protect themselves from the flu, chicken pox, measles and more by receiving vaccines. But students don’t always take the measures to protect themselves from unplanned pregnancies and STIs.

Due to some of the changes in the health care system, some students may be eligible for free birth control and students are welcome to help themselves to free condoms available on the first floor of the Norco Building. Of course, abstinence is the only 100 percent guarantee against unplanned pregnancy, but for sexually active Broncos and Bronquettes, some protection can be had by using birth control or condoms.

Boise State Health Services carries a wide variety of contraceptives on site. Jodi Brawley, the assistant director of Wellness and Marketing for University Health and Recreation, stated Health Services carries eight to 10 generic brands of birth control pills, each type with a different hormone composition.

Previously, a co-pay was required for birth control prescriptions for students with SHIP health insurance. That is no longer
the case.

“This spring, the Student Health Insurance Plan covers contraceptives at 100 percent through in-network pharmacies,” Brawley said.

However, for students who are not insured through SHIP, plans and prices can vary.

“Birth control costs are dependent on insurance coverage. Check with your insurance carrier for coverage information,” Brawley said. “Most pharmacies are fairly competitive when it comes to prices.  It is always best to call the pharmacy ahead of time to find out what the cost will be for various contraception. Insurance coverage will also be a factor when it comes to the quantity needed; some insurance  companies may allow for multiple months of contraception to be picked up at one time, thus effecting the pricing.”

Plan B, or the morning after pill, is also available through Health Services.

Students over the age of 17 can pick up Plan B without seeing a medical provider, but students under the age of 17 or without valid ID do have to meet with a medical provider to get Plan B.

“It is important to note that Plan B is most effective the sooner it is taken after unprotected sexual contact,” Brawley said. “Plan B is ineffective if pregnancy has already
occurred.”

The American College Health Association National College Health Assessment II (ACHA-NCHA  II) said 2.3 percent of respondents reported pregnancy theirs or their partners has detrimentally effected them academically and 2.5 percent of students said they unintentionally became pregnant, or impregnated someone in the last 12 months. Although the percentage of students struggling to cope with difficulties associated with pregnancy is relatively low, the number of students engaging in unprotected sex, both in conjunction with alcohol use or without drinking, is quite a bit higher.

A reported 19.5 percent of respondents said they had unprotected sex after drinking alcohol in the last 12 months according to a survey performed by the American College Health Association (ACHA).

The Boise State University Executive Summary from the fall of 2011 was compiled with data based on a survey taken by 949 respondents from a random sample of 4,450
students.

In addition to unplanned pregnancy, students engaging in sexual activity, including oral and anal sex, can contract sexually transmitted diseases. Oral sex does not protect students from contracting a sexually transmitted
disease.

“It is important to remember that the most common symptom of an STI (sexually transmitted infection) is no symptom at all,” Brawley said. Health Services does offer STI screenings. Free HIV testing is also available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 5 p.m.

“Making the decision to be sexually active is an important decision and something that both people should discuss before engaging in sex,” Brawley said. “Our medical providers can answer all your sexual health questions and often talk to students during their appointments. We also have a Peer Educator who focuses on providing students with sexual health related
information.”

Contraceptive available through Health Services:

  • 8 to 10 generic brands of birth control pills. Each type has a different hormone composition.
  • Depo-Provera injections
  • Nuva Ring
  • Plan B emergency contraception
  • 2 brands of Inter Uterine Devices (IUDs)
  • Nexplanon implants
  • Condoms

 

Do you use some form of protection on birth control before engaging in sexual activity?

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