Wed. Jan 26th, 2022

Paying for college tuition is a huge financial burden. Add the fear of an expensive unexpected pregnancy, and students are driven to spend big money on birth control pills. However, what many students donʼt know is that the Health and Wellness Center provides the pill at an affordable ost. The Health Center offers “the Pill,” as well as other forms of contraception. They offer the Nuva Ring for $10 a month, and even free condoms. They can also write prescriptions for other medications that they do not carry, but the medication may be pricey. For example, at a Wal-Mart pharmacy, a one-month supply of Yasmin 28, the #1 most popular brand of birth control pill in the United States, costs $32.98. The Health Center doesnʼt carry Yasmin 28, but it does have three different brands to choose from which do the same job. These brands are Nordette, Cyclessa and Mircette. Each of these pills can be bought for $14 a pack, or $38 for a threemonth supply. A Google search for these three drugs shows varying price ranges. Nordette can range from $74 to $99, Mircette between $89 to $99, and Cyclessa from $22.50 to $106.80.

How can the pills be so affordable through the Health Center? The Health Center gets them at a discounted price and keeps them inexpensive for students. Pharmacies, on the other hand, are looking to make a profit. Planned Parenthood of Chester County has stated that, “The Pill is one of the most effective reversible methods of birth control available to women in the U.S. Women who take the Pill correctly every day have less than a one-percent chance of getting pregnant.”

The process of getting on the Pill is easy. If a woman has had an annual exam within the past year, she just needs to have her doctor fax a copy of the records of her last pap spear and exam. “We can change them to a birth control we have here,” said Karen Gorgonzola, nurse practitioner at the Health Center.

A woman who has had an exam from her own doctor will have a brief consultation with a nurse practitioner and pay a $5 co-pay, plus the cost of pills. In an emergency situation, the Health Center wonʼt turn a woman away. “Ideally, you would need a pap smear,” Gorgonzola said, “but can do it three months later.” “Most women can take most pills,” said Gorgonzola. Women who are candidates for birth control will have a consultation with a nurse practitioner to decide which one is best suited for herneeds.

If a woman has never been on oral contraception before, she can have a full exam done at the Health Center. A significant amount of students use the Health and Wellness Centerʼs services. According to Gorgonzola, the first available appointment for a full visit has a three-week waiting list.

The Health Center accepts many health insurance plans. A woman should check her policy to verify if she will be covered for a full exam. “We used to cover that,” Gorgonzola said, “but it had become too expensive.” If a woman is uninsured, then she will be billed $65 to her school account for lab work.

According to the Health Centerʼs commitment to confidentiality, they “cannot give any information to your friends, parents, resident assistants, advisors, professors or hometown physician without your expressed written permission and a signed Authorization of Disclosure of Information Form as required by law.”

Pregnancy tests are also available at the Health Center for $3.00.

To obtain more information about the Pill, or other forms for contraception, stop by the Student Health and Wellness Center on the 2nd floor of Wayne Hall, or call 610-436-2509.

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