Morning-after pill available to woman of all ages starting May 5 - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Morning-after pill available to woman of all ages starting May 5

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Earlier this month a federal judge ruled that the FDA must make the emergency contraceptive available to all women within 30 days.

That means by May 5, just as easy as you can buy aspirin or cough syrup, your 11, 12, 13-year-old daughter could walk into any pharmacy and get it without a prescription or permission.

At college campuses around the country there's no shortage of parties and events. Where there are people you can find parties and they aren't always about networking.

"A lot of people go to parties, do stuff, regret it after," said one UT student. "Round up brought a lot of problems for girls…you are under the influence you make bad decisions."

Those bad decisions can often include unprotected sex. The party-night fun can lead to a morning-after pill run.

Terry Weaver, the Chief Pharmacist at Forty Acres pharmacy on UT campus says with so many college students having no plan like birth control pills or condoms, there is a constant demand for Plan B. In fact they keep it right by the register.

"Yeah we average about four a day but there are days sales are higher. Typically Mondays are higher," Weaver said.

But the chief pharmacist says he makes sure they never run out or run low.

"There's been some anecdotal that there's Monday after a football game, maybe we will have more sales. I can't say that I've seen that to be proven true," Weaver said.

The trends are becoming so obvious its prompted a University Texas intern to study the matter. He is now comparing the spike in sales in Plan B to event and party calendars and not just at UT but in colleges all around the country.

"I thought it would be interesting to look at the sales data and find out whether or not it was true," said student pharmacist intern Richard Sabel.

Sabel says there is good reason to believe there is a clear pattern.

"I don't have any hard numbers to say. But they do see spikes we don't know if they correlate to campus events or big events like Valentine 's Day," Sabel said.

Obgyn Dr. Marco Uribe says the trend concerns him.

"Well it's a concern. If they are selling out every weekend because obviously my feeling is we need to educate people in the college environment much better about doing preventative measures than reactive measures," said Dr. Uribe.

But he makes it clear the morning-after pill is not an abortion pill.

"It's very important to clarify it is not considered an abrogative agent," said Dr. Uribe.

The Austin Texas Obgyn says it typically takes about five days for the sperm and egg to fertilize and implant. He says Plan B just delays the process.

"What it does is it prevents ovulation or delays ovulation or releasing the egg from the ovary and it changes the lining of the uterus to prevent the sperm from migrating up to meet the egg," said Dr. Uribe. 

It must be taken within 72 hours of the unprotected sex to be 90 percent effective.

Dr. Uribe says there are no known long-term effects, he said, "nobody really knows that. It makes physiologic sense that if you are doing it repeatedly it just off that whole hormonal state."

So how much is too much?

"So there isn't a magic number of how much is too much but obviously we prefer someone isn't using it every weekend or more than a few times throughout the year," he said.

Bottom line is If you skip plan a Dr. Uribe stresses you might need more than Plan B.

"I know a lot of friends talk about how they use it. Sometimes it works for them sometimes it doesn't work for them. I know some people who are pregnant because it didn't work for them," said one student.

The Department of Justice is reviewing the judge's decision to lift the age limit. No word on an appeal.

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