Contraception and STD Prevention in College

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INTRODUCTION

For decades, college campus health centers have been a resource for budget-conscious female students seeking birth control. It is especially important for college students to have easy access to affordable birth control because students are on a very limited budget. Now in the United States there are many new types of contraceptives. While women are more likely to use birth control than any other form of contraceptive, males are using more contraceptives in their life even though it is not showing. There will always be controversies on using, providing and promoting contraceptives. It is well known and obvious; the primary use of birth control is for preventing pregnancy, but what about it’s other use, in greatly reducing the pain that comes with menstruation (cramps) that most women experience in some form. In these debates what is often missing is how important these pills can be to the women who take them. Birth control is something which should be readily available to all citizens. Due to the problem of unplanned pregnancies and STD contraction, college students should receive information on contraception and STD prevention.






I. Introduction
A. Birth control is something which should be readily available to all citizens. Due to the problem of unplanned pregnancies and STD contraction, college students should receive information on contraception and STD prevention.
B. History/Background
1. Fight for birth control
a. Margret Sanger
2. Perception of women who use birth control
C. Problem of Unplanned pregnancy and STDs
1. challenges
2. statistics
a. 458,952 babies are born to mothers without adequate prenatal care
b. 468,988 babies are born to teenage mothers each year
c. Every year in the United States, there are 60,000,000 women in the childbearing years of 15-44
3. 3,000,000 use NO contraception, accounting for 47% of unplanned pregnancies
d. Currently there are 68,000,000 individuals with an STD
1. 3,000,000 teenagers acquire an STD each year
D. Impacts of birth control
1. Types of Birth control
2. need to increase awareness
E. Conclusion
1. what colleges are doing now
2. movements to provide birth control on campus
b. Choice USA- Leadership for a Pro-Choice Future (on campus)
c. Affordable Birth Control Act – bill Senate passed March 11, 2009







HISTORY/BACKGROUND

The history in fight for birth control started around the 1900’s and still continues to this day. It is crucial to remember how very radical birth control was in the early twentieth-century United States women were not full citizens with voting rights until five years after Margret Sanger’s first arrest in 1915 for distributing contraceptives(Clarke 38). Sanger led the crusade to legalize birth control and improve the contraceptive technology available to women. Undeterred by arrests and harassment, she and other crusaders succeeded in establishing birth control clinics throughout the country and legalizing the distribution of birth control information and devices (Women: Images and Realities).
Perception of women who use birth control carry out the issues of concern to women. Such as disturbances of menstrual cycles, depression, weight and loss of libido, often referred as side effects. They are of vital importance to women and are critical determinate's of whether or not they continue using specific methods. Taking the pills "only as needed" shows a misunderstanding of the method and resulting in high pregnancy rate, and social consequences of unwanted pregnancy.





PROBLEM OF UNPLANNED PREGNANCY AND STD's

Sexually active students and teenagers rarely think about using contraceptives because they do not know about them or cannot afford them. All teens need to be supplied with contraceptives or else most likely pregnancy would occur. Pregnancy is one of many challenges that can happen and bring uneasy choices and long term changes in their life. The female student and/ or her partner and family have three choices when an unplanned pregnancy may occur: an abortion, put the baby for adoption or raise the baby themselves. Our society makes casual sex a normative and result to consequences from careless behavior. Sexually transmitted diseases (STD's) are a threat to everyone and can leave the teenage sexual activity and multiple sex partners, in permanent burden on ones health or even death. STD's can badly effect a woman's reproductive organs and may result in permanent infertility. Many STD's can be cured by detecting them early and be treated by your doctor. The symptoms of some STD's like syphilis or herpes may come and go. Others like gonorrhea or chlamydia, may have no noticeable symptoms and if left untreated is dangerous. Untreated chlamydia or gonorrhea can result in sterility and inflammation, and untreated syphilis can result in death. Also, if one becomes pregnant, an STD can be passed on to your baby causing infant sickness or death. Some of the STD's are incurable, such as Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), an infection that will lead to AIDS and death. Human papillomacirus (HPV) can result in pain, genital warts, reproductive cancers, and death. Hepatitis B can be very serious while herpes is a lifelong menace. Sexual activity can also put a teen at risk. Aside from intercourse, other sexual activities can bring infection. It is best to know your partner and her/ his sexual history. Monogamy with an uninfected partner is the only option for safe sex.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, there are 458,952 babies are born to mothers without adequate prenatal care and out of those babies, 468,988 babies are born to teenage mothers each year. The most surprising statistic posted was, every year in United States, there are 60,000,000 women in the childbearing years of 15-44. 70 percent of these women are sexually active and 64 percent use a form of contraception. While 3,000,000 women use no contraception, accounting for 47 percent of unplanned pregnancies. Currently there are 68,000,000 individuals with an STD and 3,000,000 teenagers acquire an STD each year. While unknowledgeable students and teenagers continue to have unprotected sex without contraceptives these statistics can rise and never decrease.


IMPACTS OF BIRTH CONTROL

In the early 20th century the thought of sex and the use of birth control were touchy issues. Married couples that wanted to have children could only have sex. The idea of sex before marriage was foolish. Since all the beliefs about sex being only for procreation and not for pleasure, birth control was not needed. Making the choice to use a contraceptive method is a personal matter. The decision that every human being or couples must make for themselves. This decision to use a contraceptive can be a difficult and controversial but there are various factors to acknowledge before making a choice: life style, cost, feelings about one's body, safety, health status and health history. All the methods are not perfect but can prevent various diseases. Having the question," Would my parents approve of me having sex now?" can be worrisome but the best bet to ease their reaction would be to use protection.
Condoms are popular birth control method and most available for teenagers and students. At drugstores, condoms are inexpensive and are free at any college health center. They provide protection towards pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. There are two methods of emergency contraception. The "morning after" pill or also known as, Plan B, utilizes increased doses of certain oral contraceptives administered under a physicians supervision. It works best if taken within seventy-two hours of intercourse. A second method of emergency contraception is the insertion of a copper intrauterine device (IUD) with in five to seven days after intercourse.
The need to increase awareness to teenagers and college students is crucial. Debating on whether the topic of birth control being taught and/or distributed in public schools is efficient is still being fought. In biology and health classes students are educated on the reproduction and sexuality but rarely contraceptive methods such as condoms and birth control pills are spoken of. Even some parents hardly ever bring up the issue, either from embarrassment to talk over with their children or believe it is useless. This decision can waste vital information for teenagers and future college students. Teenagers have a higher risk than other age groups in catching STDs because of biological and behavioral risk factors, but it just comes back to that they have limited prevention resources on STDs. The ways teens acquire inappropriate or wrong information is on the Internet or Television. All they will do is become sexually active and not think of precautions. It is wise for students and teens to use contraceptives to not have difficult choices to make, that should not be made in the first place. Providing teens and students with contraceptives will reduce teen birth rates, and higher high school graduation.


CONCLUSION

Contraceptives are definitely products of importance on the American market. They are important to all males and females who are sexually active. Contraceptives had a great effect on the United States recently as it has also throughout the history of the United States. People throughout the world have been affected by the use of contraceptives as it has made their life easier in most cases. The benefits of contraceptives are to protect from having children, and to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases. Before the invention of contraceptives, people were having children at an unknown but high rate. Now, people can control this aspect of life. Currently colleges are forming programs and clubs to advocate feminist issues, develop their leadership and organizing skills, and connect with the larger pro-choice and feminist movements. Such programs are called, Choices Feminist Campus Program, Choice USA, Feminist for Life College Outreach Program, Voices for Planned Parenthood (VOX) and so many more. Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently expanded over-the-counter (OTC) access to the “emergency contraceptive” Plan B to 17-year-old girls and boys. Since 2006 the FDA has allowed adults, 18 and older, to purchase the drug without a prescription. By allowing younger women to access emergency contraception, government officials are acknowledging teen pregnancy and are taking an active role to combat it. Access to Plan B will not encourage unprotected teen sex, but rather it serves to be an alternative in time of emergency. While this decision is a subtle advance for women’s health, it exemplifies a positive move for reproductive choice that addresses the needs of young women (Birth Control Access). And with great victory for college students, President Obama signed the appropriations bill that contained a provision which will lower contraception prices for college women in the United States. Women across the county will have access to affordable birth control again. According to U.S. News and World Report, school pharmacies will need to renegotiate their contracts with the pharmaceutical companies and students should begin to see relief during the next academic year. Relief is finally in sight for college women who were forced to go off birth control or endure exponentially higher prices for contraception after the Deficit Reduction Act was passed in 2005. The 2009 omnibus appropriations bill, however, has a provision called the “affordable birth control fix,” which will correct problems with access and affordability of birth control that was damaged in the Deficit Reduction Act. This provision in the omnibus bill has the potential to correct a big mistake that left millions of women without valuable resources that allowed them to control their own reproductive health.









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