Since the presidential election, insertions of long-term birth control, particularly intrauterine devices, have increased 19 percent nationwide, according to a study done in collaboration with Vox and AthenaHealth.
A recent increase in IUD procedures has also been noted at SF State. However, Eugene Chelberg, associate vice president for SF State Student Affairs, said health services has increased staff since spring 2016, which may contribute to the increased number of procedures.
“I can tell you that Student Health Services medical providers have provided me with anecdotal reports of an increased number of women inquiring about, and or requesting, long-term birth control measures, including IUDs and Nexplanon,” Chelberg said in an email.
Chelberg mentioned that women are also expressing concern about the uncertainty of their reproductive health options due to incoming changes in federal funding toward family planning. SF State uses insurance for prescriptions, but otherwise provides basic health and reproductive health measures to students at little to no cost.
Andrea D’Agostaro, 22, a communicative disorders major at SF State, is looking to act now and visit a Planned Parenthood while she still can, because she is not covered by any health insurance. D’Agostaro is not on birth control, suffers from endometriosis, and is now unsure of what her options will be under this new administration.
“It’s very backwards and it’s very unfortunate that in this day (and) age it’s happening all over again as history repeats itself,” D’Agostaro said. “But because we’re women, we take the back seat.” She stressed that sometimes it seems like women aren’t even in the same car.
Some women didn’t hesitate to ask for long-term birth control after the election results. Alix Moore, 24-year-old Diablo Valley College student, got a Nexplanon implant, a 2-inch-long hormonal implant inserted into the upper arm. Moore said it was the first thing that came to mind after Donald Trump was announced the winner. She wanted birth control that could outlast his presidency.
“My outlook is not good for the future of women,” Moore said. “It’s scary to think that we are in the year 2017 and we are even having to worry about something like this.”
While Planned Parenthood keeps its doors open, women will have a resource to help them understand and access reproductive health options.
Ally Tippery, 27, recently had her Nexplanon implant removed due to the constant bleeding and mood swings she experienced. In replacement, Tippery chose the Paragard IUD, a non-hormonal implant designed to last at least 12 years. The new birth control was provided and completely covered by Planned Parenthood.
SF State students can apply for Family PACT, a government-funded program — for the time being — at the Student Health Services building. Family PACT provides free birth control and free to low-cost testing and treatment of sexually transmitted and vaginal infections infections.
The Student Health Services provides all forms of birth control: pills, the patch (Ortho-Evra), Nuva Ring, Nexplanon, Depo shot, both Mirena and Paragard IUDs, male condoms and diaphragms. They also provide women’s health medical evaluations and treatment, emergency contraception, pregnancy tests and preventive health care.