Posted: March 2, 2016 Contributor: administrator

Not All Young Men Know the Morning-After Pill Exists

All too often birth control is thought of as a “woman thing,” but men play a large role in pregnancy prevention as well. From taking preventative measures, like wearing a condom every time during sex, to longer-term precautions, like having important conversations with their partners about starting a consistent birth control regimen.

As far as we have come in opening up the social conversation about birth control and sexual health, it’s surprising to learn that many young men still remain unaware that the morning-after pill exists.
There are several different types of emergency contraceptives ranging from over-the-counter medications like Plan B or E Contra-EZ to prescription pills like ella. These most commonly work to prevent pregnancy by stopping the release of an egg (ovulation) and making the body less hospitable to a fertilized egg, if one exists.
Currently, the over-the-counter pills are effective for preventing pregnancy up to 3 days after unprotected sex while prescription ella is effective for 5 days after.

The recent finding that not all men know about EC (emergency contraception) was published in the March 2016 edition of the Journal of Adolescent Health. The survey is based on the examination of 93 male patients ranging in age from 13 to 24 who recently visited the Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora for regular physical exams.

When asked about the ability to prevent pregnancy, 84% of the men said it was important yet only 42% had heard of emergency contraception. While the number of those surveyed was relatively small, this does show that perhaps we are still lacking when it comes to discussing sexual health with young men.

Sexual education has always been a topic of much debate in the school systems but results like these show that a lack of knowledge is still evident. Men should be just as well informed as women about all their birth control options. Just because they are not the one physically taking the medication doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be fully aware of all the options out there.

The young men in the study were all on Colorado which it’s important to note doesn’t require sexual education to be taught in schools. Other forms of emergency contraception include a woman inserting a copper intrauterine device (IUD) within five days after sex. This is an option that requires a medical doctor to properly insert the device. While it is still commonly used, many women prefer the option of being able to take a pill instead since it requires no doctor visit or procedure.

Both men and women can make more properly informed decisions about their sex lives when they know all the options. This is why it’s important to still offer sexual education in schools and talk to both women and men about birth control. The more informed the couple is, the better their ability to make the right decisions for their health and happiness.

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