MuseZack, on Dec 13 2003, 11:35 PM, said:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't nearly all non-barrier based forms of birth control (birth control hormones, IUD devices) post-conception in nature? That is to say, they work by preventing the fertilized egg from attaching to the uterine wall? If this is the case, how are they substantively different than the morning-after pill? And if we do accept things like the Pill, why not have an available birth control choice for people who make bad reproductive decisions in the heat of the moment?
Actually the pill prevents conception - it suppresses ovulation.
The 2 forms of IUD prevent conception by giving off toxic substances to make the sperm not be able to swim well (one has copper, one has progestin - both keep the sperm from making it to their destination). Very rarely a wriggler might make it to the egg and then, yes, the foreign object in the uterus prevents implantation, but this is not the operation of the IUD most of the time.
And to answer concerns about infection, practitioners have started very through routine STD testing before they insert the IUD - this has taken incidences of uterine infection down to nothing (since most of the bad infections were caused by the insertion proceedure moving STD's from the vagina into the uterus). If you don't aquire an STD while the IUD is in place, you don't have an infection problem. (which is why an IUD is only useful if you're in a mutually monagamous relationship)
I'm a big advocate of the copper IUD - there are so many women out there like me who are allergic to latex, spermacides and react severely to horemonal birthconrol. Contraception as effective as surgery with almost no side effects that lasts for 12 years is something more women should know exists.
I'll get off this nice little soap box here
Can you tell I really like my IUD?
As for the morning after pill being over the counter - I think it needs to be used safely. Thats my primary concern. But the morning after pill is NOT RU486. RU 486 is a combination of very powerful drugs that should never be used without medical supervision. The morning after pill is a whopping dose of birth control pills. Much safer. The problems would arise with people using them repeatedly - but any enterprising irresponsible person could get ahold of them now repeatedly (jsut by going to different clinics every time). A good compromise might be that you have to ask the pharmacist directly - so that the pharmacist could give you the safety speil every time - how to take them, that they're NOT intended for regular use, a little education on birth control options etc.
I've had 2 unintended pregnancies as a grown up in a long term (albiet messed up) relationship. They were both HUGE shocks - andI wasn't a kid or a single mother in harsh financial straits or any one of a number of circumstances that would have made having a child a disaster for the child and myself. I wouldn't wish an unplanned pregnancy on anyone. Anything women can do to choose pregnancy or not choose it I support. And until there's never a circumstance in which a women can have an unplanned pregnancy - until there's no more powerlessness, withholding of education, side-effect laden birth control......until a lot of things change, women need to have as many options available to them as possible.