Emergency contraception is a safe option that works well and should be available to anyone who will need it. But you should know where to get it. According to the FDA, it has completely changed the rules how pharmacies sell some kinds of emergency contraception. Before you visit a drugstore, know what is exactly available.
How will you get emergency contraception?
There are different types of emergency contraception and they fall under three categories.
1. One emergency contraceptive drug is available only without age restriction and a prescription
Plan B One-Step. This drug will be there in the family planning of your pharmacy with condoms. It is available in the form of a single pill and anyone can purchase it without a prescription. But your pharmacy might not sell it that way. “We anticipate the process will be gradual and hope to see it more widely available soon,” says
Denise Bradley, vice president of corporate communications at Teva Pharmaceuticals, which makes Plan B One-Step.
2. Different drugs are available without a prescription but only to people who are 17 years and more
- My Way and Next Choice One Dose. These are actually generic descriptions of the drug in Plan B One-Step known as levonorgestrel. They are available as a single pill and both have to be there in the family planning but you need to show ID for buying them. If you are below 17 years, then you require a prescription.
- Double-dose generic levonorgestrel. The double-dose is about two pills than taking one or else it will be the same as single-dose versions. Double-dose levonorgestrel is behind the pharmacy counter and what is allowed by the FDA. Again, people who are below 17 years require a prescription.
- Treatments you can get only through prescription:
- Combination pills. This is taken for higher dose of regular birth control pills. Whatever might be your age, you will require a prescription. It is advised not to take extra doses of regular birth control pills without consulting with the doctor.
- Ella. Whatever your age is, you will require a prescription for Ella.
- IUD. The copper-T IUD is said to be a small device that has been placed in your uterus which requires a prescription. A doctor needs to insert it for you.
According to the research, Plan B One-Step begins losing its effectiveness in women heavier than 165 pounds and is not suggested for anyone above this weight. Rather, a copper-T IUD is a viable option for your emergency contraception.
Will your pharmacy be selling emergency contraception?
You should walk in a pharmacy and buy some kinds of emergency contraception. But this does not happen due to the following reasons:
- Recent FDA changes – As per the FDA, it has removed age restrictions for Plan B One-Step in the year 2013. Anyone will be able to purchase it officially. But it will require some time before every pharmacy sells it in that way. At present, your pharmacy might ask for ID that shows you are 17 years or more than that. You need to call at the store to be sure you can get the drug you require.
- Employee confusion – Kelly Cleland, a researcher at the Office of Population Research at Princeton University says “A lot of employees are still confused about what’s legal and what’s not.” Surveys have revealed that some pharmacy employees do not abide by the guidelines and might have obsolete ideas related to the restrictions.
Some believe you require a prescription for buying an over-the-counter drug or there is an age restriction for a drug when there is actually not.
- State laws – Some states might pass the laws that seem to restrict who can purchase an emergency contraception. For example, Oklahoma has recently passed a law that will prevent anyone below 17 years from getting Plan B One-Step without having a prescription.
Tips for purchasing emergency contraception
- Call ahead – You should not waste your valuable time by visiting a pharmacy where the pill is not there. When you are talking to the staff, don’t forget to ask about the restrictions and so, you know you can get it.
- Check the prices – When you call at the store, this can save your money. As per a survey it has been found that the average cost of Plan B One-Step is $48, having a range somewhere between $32 and $65. So, the generic drugs are not that inexpensive that is around $42, on an average. The pills might be cheaper at women’s health centers, hospitals, health departments, and university health centers.
- Consider getting a prescription – It might not be that convenient to fix an appointment with the doctor. However, a prescription can make it much easy for an emergency contraception as you need not worry about age restrictions anymore.
- Call your insurance company – You will have to know if the insurance company will provide coverage for an emergency contraception. If it does so, you should get prescription pills at a low cost. You will still have to visit your doctor for a prescription. According to health care experts, they do not know how the new health care law, known as the Affordable Care Act, can change insurance coverage in case of an emergency contraception. Your plan might not cover all the possible options and so, it is best to check with your insurance company.
- Know your rights – You might meet pharmacy employees who say you cannot buy an emergency contraception even though you can. If you are having some problems, do not give up in anyway. Get advice from your doctor and know how to get emergency contraception for your need.
Thus, if you are residing in London, you will have to visit your nearest private gynecology’s clinic in London for emergency contraception coil fitting.