Increase in women seeking long-term birth control

More women seeking long-term birth control

Concerns are sweeping across the nation after Tuesday's election. Some women fear next year under Donald Trump's administration, access to birth control and special services may not be available or affordable.
Now, doctors are seeing a high demand.

"I think there is a lot of uncertainty and that uncertainty is what is fueling some of that anxiety in some patients,” Westlake Gynecology Nurse Practitioner Mary Brown said. 

Westlake Gynecology has received a number of phone calls from patients about how to get long-term birth control like intrauterine devices, or IUDs, which can last three to 10 years.

"They're most effective, they are lower in cost over the full term of the conceptive life of the device," Doctor Shannon Abikhaled said.

Brown says in her 26 years working in women's health, she has never seen a surge like this.

"This sort of rush on health care and reproductive control in the last two days,” Brown said. “They’re afraid they’ll lose coverage for their birth control.”

Patients ranging from age 16 to women in their 60s have requested to get the IUDs in the next couple of months.

The worry stems from claims made by President-elect Donald Trump that he will strip away the Affordable Care Act and replace it. Many fear the results could make it more difficult to obtain birth control and certain services.

Brown says patients have also asked about coverage for hormones, screenings and routine preventive care.

“I’m here. And I’ll provide the best care I can, non-judgmental, loving, caring in a collaborative environment I can, regardless of what’s going on outside my doors,” Brown said.

The concern has spread online, women urging other women to act fast.

"I read an article last night about people setting aside money for IUD because they feel like it’s the only option they're going to have for the next couple of years,” University of Texas at Austin Senior Julia Plotkin said.

But for UT senior Olivia Cantu, her message is quite different.

"I think women shouldn't be afraid, and that claiming there is an aura of fear right now isn't necessarily right. Because there's so many options to be proactive, especially right now beforehand,” Cantu said.

Dr. Shannon Abikhaled says there may be some challenges, but it's not the end.

"To hold on to the good things that we have accomplished so far, and it’s much harder to reverse a law than to pass a law,” Abikhaled added.

(© 2016 KVUE)


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