This post is sponsored by Plan B One-Step and SheKnows, all opinions are my own.
So, here's the thing. I'm a 40-year old divorced, single mother. When I say that I do not want to have more children, I really mean it. There comes a time in every woman's life when she decides if she wants to have children - whether it be in her teens or later, and we prepare ourselves the best that we can. My ex-husband and I decided early on in our marriage that we did not want more children, and he subsequently got a vasectomy. Back then, it was easy. We didn't have to worry about birth control and life was grand. I don't think I'd ever even heard of Plan B One-Step® or "the morning after pill" in my 20's. Today, I am sharing What Women Need to Know About Plan B One-Step®, because when I became single again, I had NO clue.
Once we divorced and I was thrust back into the single dating ritual, I became the biggest advocate of condoms, EVER. I'd been married for 14 years. Everything was new to me. I had no idea how to date. I didn't know how to act, I didn't know what to expect when it came to men. My first few dates, I didn't even know if guys now expected sex on a first date. Could I even kiss them right away? I had no idea! It wasn't until I had gone on a few dates and a gentleman asked me if I wanted to go home with them that I realized...I am really single. I am probably going to want to have sex at some point...and while I may be unjustifiably jaded towards men in general, I will say that I just didn't trust men to have condoms. I knew that I had to carry my own, just in case. Standing in front of that birth control aisle in the drugstore was terrifying. I texted all my single friends, "WHICH ONES DO I GET?!" I had no idea. Looking back on those days now, after being single for three years, I am actually laughing at how naive I was and just how far I've come as a single woman.
Sure, I'd like a more permanent form of birth control, but with lack of health insurance, and the rising costs (and health risks of certain birth control methods for women of a certain age), my main form of birth control has been condoms. I went on birth control last year while in a semi-serious relationship, but even then, I used condoms because I was so terrified of getting pregnant. My friends often jokingly refer to me as "The Condom Fairy,” because I always have them with me, and I will shove them into my friend's hands or purses when they leave for the night.
The thing about using condoms as a first method of birth control is, no matter how many you carry, no matter how pragmatic you are in their use, no matter how serious you are about safe sex...sometimes things happen. You can be in a committed relationship, married, or a totally single girl like me, and all it takes is ONE accident to change your life, his life, forever. Sometimes condoms break. Sometimes they even COME OFF. Did you know that happens?! It happens.
What Women Need to Know About Plan B One-Step®
It has happened to me. That is where Plan B One-Step came in. I was seeing someone pretty regularly, he was a great guy, and we liked each other a lot. One night when we were together, the condom broke. Neither of us realized it until afterwards, and I can still imagine the panic on his face. Men panic too, folks. It's not just us women. He began to freak out, asking me to check my ovulation schedule, and I gently reminded him that we had an option - Plan B. He didn't even know what that was, and I had to pull up the website and show him, explaining that it was what he's probably heard of as "the morning after pill." I wasn't even sure where to find it in our local drug store, so I just walked right up to the cashier and asked for Plan B. She pulled the box out from behind the register and asked if I was okay. Seriously, folks, if you can ask the cashier you've been seeing a few times a week over the course of a decade, and she doesn't judge you - NO ONE WILL. I've had the daughters of friends talk to me about Plan B. This is what it means to be an empowered woman in today's world: we take care of ourselves.
Perhaps you've never heard of Plan B One-Step. Maybe you don't really know what the "morning after pill" is...When I began talking about this campaign with friends and family, I was shocked at how many people asked "Isn't that the abortion pill?" NO, IT IS NOT.
What You Should Know About Plan B
The main thing you should know is that Plan B One-Step is NOT the abortion pill. I come from a very religious background, so suffice it to say, I have done my research. Plan B is merely an emergency contraception that helps prevent pregnancy BEFORE it begins. A lot of people are so misinformed that they don't know the difference between the two. But think about it: You have gotten pregnant, you need to see a doctor, get an ultrasound, go through a really painful abortion process with one..., but with Plan B? You can avoid all of that emotional and physical trauma. Plan B helps prevent pregnancy, it doesn't end them.
Plan B One-Step should be taken within 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex or birth control failure. The sooner it is taken, the better it works. When that happened to me, I was at the drugstore within 5 hours and took the pill (it's just one pill), with a sip of iced coffee and went home to let him know that I'd taken it. I also sent him a text not long after, when my period arrived on time.
Plan B is a backup method to help prevent pregnancy and isn’t meant to be used as routine contraception. As a single woman, and as a mother to a young adult daughter, and having friends with young adult children, I know all about Plan B. As a woman intent on empowering herself and future generations of women, I think it is so important for young women to take control of their bodies and TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES. We have an option now, when things go wrong!
Plan B One-Step can be found in the family planning or sexual health sections, right on the shelf, at all major retailers, including CVS Health, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Walmart and Target. There is no prescription or ID required to purchase Plan B One-Step and no age restriction, so ANYONE can buy it. Adults, young adults, teenagers - everyone has the power to protect themselves when things go wrong with their primary birth control method. If you can't find Plan B in the aisle, ask the pharmacist or the cashier - I know that in my local drug store, it's behind the main checkout counter with the cashier. You can even find a coupon and mobile rebate on www.PlanBOneStep.com.
There is absolutely no shame in using Plan B. It was created to help women. Because sometimes things happen, and when “Plan A” doesn't work out, Plan B is there for you.
I am being compensated for this partner post by SheKnows on behalf of Foundation Consumer Healthcare.