We have many contraceptive options available to women and most options are available to students at the clinic. Whether you decide to go on birth control pills, the patch, the ring or the shot (Depo-Provera), your provider will discuss the benefits and risks of each of the birth control methods.
Birth Control Pills
The most common method of birth control is oral contraception. We have the combination pills here. They are made of estrogen and progestin and work by preventing the women’s ovaries from releasing eggs and making the cervical mucus thicker preventing the sperm from joining with an egg. Taking the pill daily keeps a level of hormone that is needed to prevent pregnancy. The pill is one of the most effective means of birth control. With perfect use, less than 1 in every 100 women who use birth control will become pregnant. With typical use, 6 out of every 100 women will become pregnant. The pills prescribed in this clinic come in 28 day packs. Three weeks of the pills are pills that contain both estrogen and progestin; the last week is a placebo week with no medication (reminder pills). The hormones in the pills will protect you against pregnancy throughout the whole month even though there are only 3 active weeks.
Starting the Pill
You will need to take your pill the same time every day. We use the Sunday start method for pill use. We start the pill the Sunday after your period starts. You may still be on your cycle when you take your first pill. We highly encourage condom use. Although the pill will protect you against pregnancy, it will not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases.
The patch is a thin tan patch that sticks to your skin. It has both estrogen and progestin. You will place a new patch every week for 3 weeks on the upper outer arm, upper torso, stomach or buttocks. No patch will be used the 4th week. The hormones in the patch prevent pregnancy by preventing the women from ovulating, thinning the lining of the uterus and making the mucus at the cervix thick. The patch should be changed at the same time each week. The patch is a very effective method of birth control. For every 100 women who use the patch, 8 will become pregnant with typical use. Less than 1 out of every 100 women will become pregnant with perfect use. The patch is not as effective if you weigh more than 198 pounds. The patch is available in the Georgia State University Clinic. You will need an appointment for contraceptive counseling with a provider.
Starting the patch
We usually start the patch the Sunday after your period starts.
The Nuvra Ring is a small flexible ring that is inserted into the vaginia once a month. It is left in place for three weeks and then taken out the 4th week. The ring has both estrogen and progestin to protect against pregnancy for one month. The hormones prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg and thins the lining of the uterus. Pregnancy can occur if the package is exposed to very high temperatures or direct sunlight, the ring slips out of the vagina and is not replaced within 3 hours, it does not stay in the vaginia for 3 weeks in a row. With perfect use, less than 1 woman in 100 will become pregnant. With typical use, less than 8 women out of 100 will become pregnant.
Starting the ring
The ring should be inserted within the first 5 days of your menstrual cycle. Wash your hands, use your fingers to press the sides of the ring together, insert the ring into the vagina (the exact position of the ring will not matter), do not remove the ring during sexual intercourse. Remove the ring on the same day of the week, 3 weeks later.
Depo-Provera is an injectable progestin-only method of birth control. The hormone is medroxyprogesterone acetate and the brand name is Depo-Provera. It works by preventing the ovaries from releasing an egg, thickens the cervical mucosa and alters the lining of the uterus. One shot of Depo-Provera will prevent pregnancy for 12 weeks. Of every 1000 women who use it correctly, 3 will become pregnant. With typical use, 3 of 100 women will become pregnant.
Starting the shot
You will need to be on your cycle for your first injection of Depo-Provera. You will then need to follow up in the office every 12 weeks for additional injections.
Refills of Birth Control
You will have two choices when having your birth control refilled. We can write a prescription for your birth control for you to have filled at your local pharmacy. If you have private insurance, this may be the best decision for you. We can also have your birth control dispensed at the clinic. To have your medication refilled, you will need to come in or call the office requesting medication refill. The receptionist will need your name, student number and name of medication. Your medication will be available at the clinic 24 hours later for you to pick up.
If you are requesting a refill of Depo-Provera and we have not ordered this for you, we will need a copy of your pap smear and medical record with documentation of the last Depo-Provera injection given.
Emergency Contraceptive Pills
Plan B (emergency contraceptive pills) are available at the Georgia State University Health Clinic. We offer counseling for women who have had unprotected sex and are concerned about pregnancy.
Plan B is available for women who have had unprotected sex within the last 120 hours. It can prevent pregnancy after having a contraceptive failure. The sooner you take Plan B, the more effective it is. Plan B is not the “abortion pill.” It will not work if you are already pregnant – that’s why taking it as soon as possible is important.
Plan B is Levonorgestrel 0.75mg. It prevents fertilization and implantation. It will not work once implantation has begun.
You can obtain Plan B by making a nurse visit. This will be a same day visit.