Contraceptive pill available on campus

The “morning after pill,” available in the ULV Health Center, may be taken by a female who thinks she may be pregnant, within 72 hours after intercourse. ULV head nurse Maureen Pray stresses that it should not be used as a form of birth control. / photo by Starr Carroll
The “morning after pill,” available in the ULV Health Center, may be taken by a female who thinks she may be pregnant, within 72 hours after intercourse. ULV head nurse Maureen Pray stresses that it should not be used as a form of birth control. / photo by Starr Carroll

by Laura Czingula
Staff Writer

Women at the University of La Verne have an opportunity that many other schools do not offer—the “morning after pill.”

The pill may be taken after intercourse by a woman who may have become pregnant. It is only meant for emergency situations for women who have had unprotected sex, or if a condom breaks during sexual intercourse. It is not meant to be used as a method of birth control. Rather, it is a pill that is taken to reduce the chances of an unwanted pregnancy within 72 hours of sexual intercourse.

The “morning after pill” is made up of a high dose of estrogen, which makes the body prevent the egg from being implanted. The estrogen taken into the body has not yet been proven to have any permanent harmful effects, with the exception of vomiting and a temporarily shorter menstrual cycle.

“ULV has been offering this pill for as long as I’ve been here, which is six years now,” said Maureen Pray, head nurse at the Health Center. “Sometimes girls think it’s a birth control and I want to make sure and let it be known that it’s not.”

If a female at ULV thinks she may be pregnant because of unprotected intercourse or faulty contraception, she may go to the Health Center within 72 hours and be examined by a doctor.

A stipulation to receiving the pill is that a contract must be signed in case the pills do not work. The contract serves as a promissory note, stating that if the pills do not work, the woman must have an abortion. This is a safety precaution because the pill has been proven to cause fetal damage.

So far, all uses of the treatment have been reported successful at ULV.

The procedure requires the female to take one pill in the doctor’s office at the Health Center, then take another 12 hours later.

“I would say, on an average, five to 10 girls a year take advantage of this opportunity here at ULV,” Pray said. “We get such a low number of girls due to not knowing all the information on it.”

Once a woman has taken the pill, the Health Center suggests a better birth control method for them to prevent any unwanted pregnancies. There has been only one case where a student had gone into the Health Center twice in one year for the pill, and only one case of a student becoming so violently ill after taking the pill that she had to be rushed to the emergency room because of constant vomiting.

“This is only for emergency situations and can not be used on a regular basis. Though it is safe, it is still very rough on the body. In my opinion this is a great opportunity, especially at a college.

It is a lot better than abortion, because you will always have the unanswered question of if you were really pregnant or not. Sometimes not knowing is better than knowing at all,” said Pray.

Laura Czingula, Sports Editor
Laura Czingula
Starr Carroll

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