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Campus Confidential - Navigating Birth Control & Contraception

Updated: Mar 11



There are various forms of birth control, each with its own advantages, disadvantages, and effectiveness. From widely-used options to long-term solutions, this guide offers a brief overview into some of the most common methods. As each comes with unique considerations and potential side effects, doing personal research and consulting with healthcare professionals is crucial depending on an individual’s personal health and lifestyle factors.


Most Popular Forms of Contraceptives and Birth Control

  1. Condoms - Condoms, which act as protective barriers, can prevent both unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

  2. Birth Control Pills - Oral contraceptives are pills taken daily to prevent pregnancy. They typically contain a combination of estrogen and progestin, or progestin only.

  3. Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)- Small, T-shaped devices inserted into the uterus by a healthcare professional. They can be hormonal or copper-based and provide a more long-term contraception. * In some instances, they can also be used as emergency contraception when inserted within a few days after unprotected sex.

    1. Hormonal IUD - A hormonal IUD releases a steady, low dose of synthetic progestin directly into the uterus. Hormonal IUDs are effective for 3 to 6 years, depending on the specific brand.

    2. Copper IUD - A copper IUD is instead wrapped in a layer of copper. The copper creates a hostile environment for sperm, preventing fertilization. Copper IUDs can provide effective contraception for up to 10 years.

Type

Efficacy 

Health Insurance Coverage (under the Essential Plan)

Hormonal / Non-hormonal

Condoms

98% (when used properly)

Covered by the $75 OTC Card in most pharmacies. *

Non-hormonal

Birth Control Pills

< 99% (if taken at the same time, every day)

Yes

Hormonal

Hormonal IUD

< 99%

               Yes

Hormonal

Copper IUD

< 99%

               Yes

Non-hormonal

* Coverage of the product is largely up to the discretion of the pharmacy, and coverage may vary based on the chain and location.


Here are some other contraceptive methods worth considering. These alternatives cater to other preferences, allowing individuals to find a method that aligns with their specific needs and lifestyle.


  1. Injectable Contraceptives - Injections, given every few months, contain progestin and prevent ovulation, thickening cervical mucus, and thinning the lining of the uterus.

  2. Patch - The contraceptive patch is a small patch applied to the skin that releases hormones to prevent pregnancy.


Emergency contraceptives are methods used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. * It's important to note that emergency contraceptives are NOT meant to be used as a regular form of birth control.


Emergency Contraceptives

  1. Levonorgestrel (Plan B) - This is a widely used over-the-counter emergency contraceptive pill. It is most effective when taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex but can be taken up to 72 hours / 3 days (and sometimes up to 120 hours / 5 days) after.

  2. Ulipristal Acetate (Ella) - This is another emergency contraceptive pill available by prescription. It is effective up to 120 hours / 5 days after unprotected sex.


Please do independent research and consult with your physician. Many contraceptives and forms of birth control come with side effects that vary in terms of type and degree of intensity from person to person. It's important for individuals to consult with healthcare professionals to determine the most suitable method based on their health and lifestyle, especially if you have allergies or are on other medication.


 

Welcome to Kimber Health, the premier healthcare solution for international students from over 100 countries. Our mission is to provide exceptional yet affordable healthcare options that cater to the unique needs of the global student community. Experience comprehensive healthcare coverage with our groundbreaking $0 Essential Plan, which offers a suite of benefits including free preventive care, dental and vision care, $75 OTC expense card every quarter and even a gym membership reimbursement. We also have competitively priced plans that are designed to not only meet but exceed university waiver requirements, enabling students to easily waive their university insurance and save thousands of dollars each year. Choose Kimber Health for cost-effective, high-quality healthcare that supports your educational journey abroad.

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