Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Plan B:get your wingnut nose outta my yoohoo
Pix courtesy of GreenParty.Org. MSNBC gets it right in giving the truth about Plan B contraception... ABC... not so much. (via MSNBC): "Accidents happen," say new waiting-room posters headed for the 49K members of the Amer College of OB/GYNs. The posters are part of a campaign urging doctors to explain Plan B to every woman of reproductive age they examine, and to offer an advance Rx for use later if needed to those eligible. Plan B is a high dose of regular birth control pills. It cuts the chances of pregnancy by up to 89% if used w/in 72 hrs of rape, condom failure or just forgetting routine contraception. The drug has no effect if a woman is already pregnant." Here is ABC's version: "Fed up with the roadblocks facing women who try to obtain Plan B, the Amer College of OB/ GYNs announced its "Ask Me" campaign, which encourages patients to obtain an advance Rx from their ob/gyn. Plan B can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus after a woman has unprotected sex or experiences contraceptive failure (like a condom breaking)." Wrong. MSNBC gets it right again: "The ob/ gyns' group says that not only is that claim scientifically wrong, but that Plan B sold over the counter would also actually reduce abortions: "We estimate that if it is readily available it can prevent up to 50% of the abortions in the US." This, from PZ Myers, biologist and assoc professor at the Univ of MN says it all: "A spike in Luteinizing Hormone levels triggers ovulation and progesterone suppresses LH. So, if you wanted to prevent ovulation, you give a large dose of progesterone that shuts down LH production, resulting in no ovulation, so no egg is released, and any sperm happening to be in the woman's reproductive tract finds nothing to fertilize. Plan B is not an abortion. Plan B gives women the ability to control, to a limited extent, when their ovaries will expel a gamete. Plan B doesn't help if one is already pregnant, and it doesn't affect any implanted zygotes." In full disclosure, I took Plan B once. After nearly dying during pregnancy, I was still having serious complications when my baby was 6 mos old. My ob/ gyn wanted me to stop nursing my daughter and begin a medication that would stabilize my blood pressure by stopping the dangerous spiking and plummeting (I almost passed out once while driving w/my newborn in the car). Very relunctantly I agreed. About 3 wks after weaning her & beginning the medicine, Hubby and I had a condom break (the Pill was out of the question for me at that pt due to nursing/ blood press). We freaked. The medication I was taking for my blood pressure was known to cause severe birth defects and fetal deaths. It was the day after Thanksgiving. My ob/gyn was out of town. So, I had to go to a clinic 50+ miles away. I went in and took my 1st dose, and was sent home w/my 2nd dose to take 12 hrs later. I was so nauseous, dizzy, bent over from stomach pain & wracked w/a wicked migraine that I don't think too many females would repeat taking Plan B. It was awful, but it was necessary to prevent any chance of me conceiving when another pregnancy would have killed me and when a deformed fetus could have resulted. We'll never know if I could have conceived then or if I was even ovulating when the condom broke, but we truly are grateful that I was able to obtain Plan B to COMPLETELY avoid a very dangerous and heartwrenching situation. I am not a slut. I am a responsible married woman who is 100% faithful to her husband, and Plan B may have very well saved my life and my family.