It’s no secret that women’s health rights are at risk.
And countless women are looking to make the following five birth control and contraception mistakes when it comes to their own health. From taking a break from your period to tapping into the knowledge of academic-led doctors, it's time to get informed, consider your options, and take action in a post Roe v. Wade society.
#1 - You use a period tracker.
Delete your period trackers or stop using a digital period tracker. Digital period trackers and apps can be subpoenaed in court to prove past missed periods (potential pregnancies) - and assist in confirming a suspected abortion.
#2 - You consider Plan C a form of contraception.
Plan C, unlike Plan B, is not a form of emergency contraception. It is medication abortion.
What is "Plan C"?
The “Plan C” pill is actually two pills, mifepristone and misoprostol, that can be taken up to 10 weeks after your last menstrual cycle to induce a miscarriage. This method is known as a medication abortion.
How does the “Plan C” pill work? How does medication abortion work?
The “Plan C” pill is actually 5 pills total consisting of 2 different medications and is called medication abortion. Mifepristone blocks pregnancy hormones from working and Misoprostol causes cramping and bleeding. It’s like a miscarriage (spontaneous abortion). There’s a few hours of heavy bleeding followed by a few days of light bleeding.
To learn more about how a medication abortion works check out this video from IPPF (International Planned Parenthood Federation).
How does the “Plan C” pill differ from surgical abortion?
The main difference between the “plan C” pill and surgical abortion is that one is done by medication, the other is done by a mechanical, physical procedure. While a surgical abortion is a faster process, a medication abortion is less invasive. Keep in mind, scheduling an appointment for the physical procedure can sometimes be a timely process.
Medication abortion can only be done up to 10 weeks after your last period and surgical can be performed up to 22 weeks after your last period. Medication abortion is also slightly less effective than a surgical abortion with a 95-97% efficacy rate. The cost of abortions vary depending the stage of pregnancy, insurance plans, and method. In general, medication abortions cost less.
#3 - Plan B has limitations because of your BMI
The Plan B pill is less effective on women with a BMI of 25+, while options such as ELLA are effective on women with a BMI up to 35.
#4 - You suffer through monthly periods
You can safely quit your period or at least make it lighter and without pain. With the fear of birth control being outlawed and the current tampon shortage, Dr. Sophia Yen suggests women consider skipping their periods - it is a safe and healthy (decreases cancers) option for those who are interested.
#5 - You assume your doctor knows everything about birth control
Many doctors, such as Internal Medicine and Family Medicine and even OB/GYNs, don’t have the time to know the latest and greatest on all the topics (e.g.periods, emergency contraception, birth control, etc.).
Use academic expert specialized doctors if you are concerned about your birth control or emergency contraception options that work best for your body type and lifestyle or follow Pandia Health on social media. It’s the only Doctor-Led, Academic-doctor-led birth control delivery company.
About the Author:
Dr. Sophia Yen is Board Certified in Adolescent Medicine with 20+ years of experience in medicine. She graduated from MIT, UCSF Medical School, and UC Berkeley with a MPH in Maternal Child Health.
She serves as a clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Stanford Medical School.
Dr. Yen co-founded Pandia Health and enjoys educating the public and other physicians about birth control, acne, weight management, and other adolescent health issues. She has been featured in many publications for her work in reproductive health and as CEO of Pandia Health.