Milly and GC provide affordable contraceptives
Ava Leone Website Managing Editor
Students are left wondering where they can acquire safe sex options including implants, IUD’s, shots, pills and condoms, which were described in last week’s article, “Let’s talk about sex baby, let’s talk about IUD.”
The “it feels bad” or “we don’t really need protection” excuses should no longer exist with the plentiful locations in Milledgeville aimed at keeping students and community members sexually protected. Although not every form is free, birth control methods are very accessible for Milledgeville community members and GC students.
West Campus Health Services
West Campus’ Health Services provides the pill and Depo Provera, the birth control shot, according to Director of Student Health Services Britt McRae. They will not provide condoms this year because of the high price.
“Health Services provides annual women’s health exams that provide preventative assessments for illnesses associated with female patients,” said McRae.
The annual women’s health exam is required to qualify for birth control through Health Services.
“The exams also include breast exams, STI testing, hematology analytics (blood work) and for females aged 21 and older, Pap smears,” McRae said.
McRae said routine health care visits can help find problems early or prevent health problems before they occur. She said if problems are found early, they may be easier to treat and less likely to pose serious risks to a person’s health.
Some students stress about the pricing of birth control and if they can afford it, as some are more expensive than others. Most insurance companies cover the cost of generic pill forms of birth control but other forms, like the IUD, can run up to $1,200 without insurance coverage.
“I just realized that birth control isn’t free for everyone,” said Caroline Lohn, a sophomore graphic design major. “My roommate has insurance, and it’s (the pill) not covered for her. Even if it’s 15 or 20 bucks, that’s something that insurance should cover.”
The Women’s Center
Students can snag free condoms from the Women’s Center located on Clarke street in a bowl on the second floor, so students can avoid awkward confrontation. The Women’s Center works in conjunction with the Cultural Center and The HUB to create an all-inclusive environment on campus.
Ordering birth control online helps many people who have limited time. Companies like Nurx, HeyDoctor, The Pill Club and Simple Health send birth control through the mail for free or at a low price.
Sometimes online consultations are necessary and forms like the pill and patch are popular.
Freshmen have the added bonus to access condoms in their dorms via request to the CA on duty. However, some students find confrontation with their building staff uncomfortable and therefore do not ask for the provided protection.
Director of the Women’s Center Jennifer Graham said the center restocks its free bowl of condoms about every two weeks. She said the Women’s Center purchases about 1,000 condoms every year and sometimes get gifts from nonprofits.
According to Undercover Condoms & More, condoms can range in price from about $100 to about $2,000 per 1,000 count.
“It’s not a ton (of condoms). We definitely strive every year to do some education around sexual health and its various forms,” said Graham. “Some of our student workers host a podcast called Lady Bits in a format that’s hope- fully more accessible.”
Baldwin County Health Department
Baldwin County Health Department offers a broad range of birth control options. A clinical appointment and prescription are required to pick up the birth control from a pharmacy. Most forms have a $25 down fee, and the cost rises from there.
Milledgeville OB-GYN Associates & the Women’s Care Center
Milledgeville OB-GYN Associates and the Women’s Care Center are two local clinics within a five-mile radius of GC. These clinics are perfect for students who have limited transportation.
The Women’s Care Center offers all birth control forms except Nexplanon, the arm implant, while the Baldwin County Health Department and Milledgeville OB-GYN Associates do.