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SU health plan offers options for birth control coverage

By Hannah Brunn, October 4 2019 —

The Students’ Union Health and Dental Plan provides all full-time undergraduated students with several health services including many different forms of birth control. With the majority of the University of Calgary demographic being young adults, it is good to be aware of what contraceptives are accessible to the student body on campus or through the SU Health Plan to promote safe sex and an overall healthy student population. 

There are lots of options for birth control, and it can seem overwhelming. Jennifer Shi and Lesan Liu, two pharmacists at Varsity Pharmacy located in the MacEwan Student Center described some options accessible to undergrads through the university health plan, recommending the insertion of an IUD – a device that is inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. 

An IUD is very much underutilized, according to the article Contraceptive Use Among Canadian Women of Reproductive Age by medical doctor Amanda Black. “Canadian women continue to use a narrow range of contraceptive methods and to use contraception inconsistently,” the article reads. This includes not putting a condom on properly or forgetting to take oral birth control and can result in an unintended pregnancy. The placement of an IUD prevents this, making it one of the most effective birth control options, with the Kyleena and Mirena brands both being covered by the SU Health Plan.

Other options covered by the health plan include many oral birth control options, as well as Depo-Provera, an injectable contraceptive that can be administered at the on-campus pharmacy. Shi also pointed out that while the SU will cover 80 per cent of the costs, the U of C’s pharmacy allows you to use more than one health plan, so students can maximize their coverage if they have another job or are on a family member’s plan. The options are out there, the question is what works best for the individual. 

If you have further questions about what contraceptive is the best option for you, consult your doctor or one of the pharmacists at the Varsity Pharmacy. 

The SU provides free condoms in room 251 MacEwan Student Center, and the Q Centre provides free internal and external condoms, as well as dental dams for protection against sexually transmitted infections. The Q Centre is located in room 210 in MacEwan Student Centre.


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