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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Emergency contraception

Emergency contraception - Make sure the late teenagers and college students in your family know about ulipristal, marketed under the trade name of Ella, an emergency contraceptive recently approved by the FDA, which will be available by prescription and protects against pregnancy for 5 days after intercourse. Also make sure they know about Plan B One Step and Next Choice, (see Mayo Clinic discussion here) which are already available over the counter and protect against pregnancy if taken within 3 days of intercourse. While I agree that abstaining from unprotected intercourse outside of a committed relationship in which the desire and intent to have a child has been articulated by both parties, the reality is that such unprotected intercourse occurs frequently despite the stated intent of young women not to accede to such requests.

Given these hormonal realities in which young men and women ignore the reproductive consequences of their actions, please educate your children about these available ways of preventing an unwanted pregnancy. While there are side effects, on average the benefit of averting an unwanted pregnancy exceeds the harm of nausea, vomiting, or some abdominal cramping or discomfort in some individuals.

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