Today's eye-opening statistic: One in nine women have used the morning after pill. New data has been released that the use of emergency contraception is on the rise. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 11 percent of sexually experienced women between 15 and 44 said they've used the morning after pill between 2006 and 2010. This is compared to 4 percent in 2002. Well, hello there, awareness. It's nice to see you've spread across America.
The most interesting part to me? Research shows more educated women are most likely to use it, and heck, I'm happy that's true. There's no excuse not to know what contraception options are on the market. Whether you have a college education or not, take this chance to educate yourself with these 5 need-to-know facts on emergency contraception:
1. The morning after pill can be purchased at any pharmacy: As long as you are above the age of 18, you can buy the pill with a photo ID at any local pharmacy. It will cost you anywhere from $10 to $70.
2. There can be side effects: I know many women who have experienced extreme nausea from taking the pill. Aside from nausea, throwing up, breast tenderness, dizziness, headaches, and irregular bleeding are other potential side effects.
3. You have five days: This was interesting to me, as I've always been told you have three. According to Planned Parenthood, the pill can reduce the risk of pregnancy for up to 120 hours after unprotected intercourse.
4. It works: The pill can reduce the risk of pregnancy by 89 percent when you take it within the first 72 hours of unprotected intercourse. As time goes on, the hormone becomes less effective.
5. The morning after pill doesn't protect you from STDs: Yes, the pill can prevent unwanted pregnancy, but once you've come into contact with an infected partner -- that's it. The only way to 100 percent protect yourself from STDs is to use condoms.
What do you think about the morning after pill? Do any of these facts surprise you?