Straight Talk Advice

May 06, 2009

Girl abuses birth control pills for Plan B effect

DEAR STRAIGHT TALK: A friend of mine is doing something dumb. She always forgets to take her birth control pills so if she has sex she just swallows a whole packet at once. She says it works the same as the morning-after pill and that it’s safe and normal to feel nauseous afterward. I think she should either remember to take her pills or use a condom but she is a big partier and she never remembers either, which is why she takes the pills the next day. Is this going to mess her up later? — No name

Ashley 20, Auburn, CA Ask me a question

What a terrible idea Plan B is bad enough, this is worse. Your friend needs a different method than the pill. Just missing one pill hugely increases your chance of getting pregnant.

Abi 21, Pope Air Force Base,NC (deployed) Ask me a question

That IS dumb Options that don’t require daily maintenance are the IUD, NuvaRing, and the Depo-Provera shot. But you still need a condom to protect against STDs. My favorite website is www.webmd.com, just type “birth control” into the search bar.

Brie 17, Ashland, OR Ask me a question

Tips for remembering your daily birth control pill: Set an alarm. Take it when you wake up or at a certain meal. Most sexually active girls I know use birth control and condoms. However, if the condom breaks or they don’t know what happened the night before, many use Plan B, which we learned about in high school.

Callie 18, Redding, CA Ask me a question

I’m guessing her form of “birth control” will affect her later in life. A whole packet (28 pills) is too many hormones at once. I didn’t learn about Plan B in sex-ed, but girls I know that use it do it strictly in emergencies.

Rachel 17, Fair Oaks, CA Ask me a question

Regular birth control pills already mess with your natural hormones, causing acne and weight gain, so taking a whole pack in one dose can’t be good. Your friend should look into alternative methods. I just got a diaphragm. Yes, they are old-fashioned but they don’t affect your natural hormones. The only reason people don’t like them is because you have to put them in, yet it’s the same with condoms so I don’t really see the difference. Also you can put a diaphragm in hours ahead of time and you’re supposed to leave it in after.

Liva 19, Hudson, NY Ask me a question

Taking multiple birth control pills is not as safe as Plan B, which (while also a high dose of the same artificial hormone found in birth control pills), is a CONTROLLED dose, measured exactly for its purpose, whereas a bunch of birth control pills is not.

DEAR NO NAME: Liva is precisely correct. Too bad your friend didn’t vomit She took way over the dose needed — which ranges from 2 to 6 pills (depending on her pill), taken as soon after intercourse as possible, then the same dose 12 hours later, just like for Plan B.

Vomit aside, your friend is going to get pregnant. Using multiple birth control pills for emergency contraception is only 75 percent effective — even Plan B is only 89 percent effective.

Will your friend be messed up later? The medical establishment says repeated doses of Plan B are safe, but who knows what they will say in 30 years. Lunch is never completely free — even when it appears to be. Mechanical devices like the IUD are a preferred alternative to artificial hormones and are very popular in Europe, even rivaling the pill in Norway. That the IUD is unsafe for teenagers is a myth.
But that’s not all. Your friend, with her partying, promiscuity, and abuse of pharmaceuticals, is a break-down waiting to happen. Take this column to your school counselor and tell her who it’s about. Your friend is at-risk and needs help.

  1. By Laura, 22, age , from Fair Oaks, CA on 06/15/2009

    I don’t know anyone who’s even used Plan B more than once, much less consume whole packets of birth control pills. I think your friend has some other emotional reason for taking this kind of risk. This probably isn’t the only way she is acting out.

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  2. By Nicole, 19, age , from Arcata, CA on 06/15/2009

    It’s amazing how foolish this is. Taking an entire packet of birth control is very bad for your body. Setting an alarm on her phone is an easy way to remember to take her pill.

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  3. By More from Liva, 19, age , from Hudson, NY on 06/15/2009

    I have one friend who has used Plan B at least twice because of irresponsible condom use but I haven’t really heard of my friends taking a bunch of birth control pills at once. Tell your friend to make her pill-taking time be during a morning hour (after breakfast?) so that she remembers to do it every single day…hopefully she’s not partying in the morning, and forgetting. Setting an alarm on her cell phone that goes off at the proper time every day might help too.

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