Letter to the Editor: Emergency Contraceptives Available at the Bookstore

Dear Reedies, 

Emergency contraception (aka “Plan B”, morning-after pill; generic name: levonorgestrel) is now available at the Bookstore/Homer’s Hut for $16! 

Since the beginning of the year, Jessica Valeske, the bookstore director, has been working with the HCC to locate a supplier for over-the-counter emergency contraception (the bookstore already had the required drug outlet licensing). The price is the bookstore’s cost; it is stored behind the register, so please ask the clerk for it. 

Because EC should be taken as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse, having it available in the evenings and on weekends can make a big difference. The Bookstore/Homer’s Hut is open from 9am-2am Monday-Friday, and noon-2am on Saturdays and Sundays. EC is still available at the HCC for $6 during their business hours (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm). 

With winter break coming up, you may want to consider getting EC to take with you on your travels, especially if you’re going to an area where it might not be as easy to find. 

EC prevents pregnancy after unprotected vaginal intercourse. It does not affect an existing pregnancy (it works primarily by stopping ovulation, and can prevent fertilization of an egg). It can be 75-89% effective if taken within 72 hours (three days) but can be taken up to 120 hours (five days) later. 

The most common side effect is nausea, with or without vomiting. If you throw up within 2 hours after taking it, it won’t be effective. Some people have found that taking the pill with food helps. You may also take an anti-nausea medication (like Pepto-Bismol) about 30 minutes before taking the pill. Some medications and supplements are known to make levonorgestrel less effective. Drugs.com offers a handy interaction checker (drugs.com/drug_interactions).

If you weigh more than 165 pounds (75 kg), levonorgestrel may not work as well. An alternative is Ella (available by prescription at the HCC). A copper IUD is the most effective emergency contraception; contact your off-campus medical provider or Planned Parenthood for more birth control options. 

For more information and support: 

HCC: 503-777-7281 (Monday-Friday, 9a-5p)

After hours nurse advice line: 800-214-4469

Planned Parenthood (plannedparenthood.org; 800-230-7526)

SHARE advocates: advocates@reed.edu or frostr@reed.edu 

And remember Election Day is November 8–please vote! While abortion is still legal in most of the United States, it is threatened, even in Oregon. For information about abortion rights in the United States and suggestions for people who may need to safely access information or services where abortion is prohibited, please see the guide at reed.edu/share/sexual-health/abortion-rights

Take care, 

Rowan Frost,

SHARE Program Director

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