As President Donald Trump takes office and gets settled in the White House, many U.S. women are looking to other options for birth control. The President has promised that he will repeal the Affordable Care Act, which could affect women’s reproductive health and health care across the nation.
Women are being urged to handle their healthcare and birth control needs before it’s too late. Advocates have argued that the Affordable Care Act have allowed women to have access to birth control pills other methods with little money or no co-pay. With the uncertainty of what a Trump presidency will bring and what will replace the health often referred to as “Obamacare,” some women are scared that they will lose access to birth control, reports Fox 17 News.
Planned Parenthood has also urged U.S. women to make an appointment and to seek other options such as an IUD, a T-shaped device that allows pregnancy prevention for up to four to 10 years. It also comes with its share of health risks and possible discomfort, both of which should be discussed beforehand with a physician. This birth control method may not be accessible or even affordable after whatever the Trump administration replaces the ACA.
A Tennessee-based Planned Parenthood said that it’s seen a spike in appointments since Donald Trump won the election last November.
“If the Affordable Care Act is dismantled, that is not a guarantee that they’ll have that. And I think the attraction for a lot of women to the IUD is it’s a form of birth control that would last up to six years, so that would take them through the Trump Presidency.”
Trump has repeatedly stated that he will repeal the Affordable Care Act. He also nominated Tom Price for health secretary, who has opposed access to contraception in the past, reports Care2.com. And, of course, there’s Vice President Mike Pence who plans to defund Planned Parenthood into a hobby. It is unsure how health insurances will treat birth control once the ACA is repealed.
Robin Marty, a Care2 contributor, made this important note in Cosmopolitan.
“If it is still included in all plans, employers probably will have an even bigger option of opting out by saying they object to it morally, since the Trump team promised more ‘conscience protections’ in health care when they are in power. That also means that doctors will be more protected if they don’t want to prescribe contraception, and pharmacists won’t be punished for not filling it. For people who live in small towns with only one or two pharmacies, that could be a big problem.”
Trump has stated that he supports an over-the-counter pill, but making it available on shelves without a plan may drive the prices even higher. Or, some stores may just choose not to carry it. Plan B, a form of emergency contraception, is still hard to find, with many pharmacies claiming it’s “out of stock” or that it’s locked behind the counter.
There is one form of birth control that’s still an option for women. Not only is it available without a plan, but it’s still affordable and over-the-counter. Spermicide is FDA-approved and is already available in most drug stores and pharmacies without a prescription. It comes various foams such as foam, gel, film, cream, suppository, and sponge. It can be used alone or with your other birth control methods to help reduce the risk of pregnancy.
Some side effects include genital irritation, including irritation of the vagina that may make a woman more susceptible to HIV/STI carried by a man. Research has also shown that spermicide can gradually increase the risk of HIV if used frequently. You or your partner may also be allergic to the materials contained in spermicide since it could cause irritation, rashes, or itchiness.
The way to avoid these risks is to use a form of spermicide that doesn’t contain the chemical nonoxynol-9 that causes irritation. Also, nonoxynol-9 can weaken the membranes that allow transmission of HIV and sexually transmitted infections that can be passed between a male and female partner.
According to a new market research report, the rise of contraceptive sponges with or without spermicide are supposed to rise well into 2022. These birth control methods are expected to grow at CAGR of 2.36 percent during the 2017 to 2021 period.
With this information in mind, women can decide whether they’re comfortable with using contraceptive sponges, spermicide, and IUD, or whether they want to stock up on a year’s worth of birth control pills. Other women have reportedly been stocking up on Plan B, which lasts for up to four years. While there is a chance that the ACA will be repealed, it won’t happen overnight.
[Featured image by Scott Olson/Getty Images]