Bulldogs stay safe

Ferris students search for birth control options

The many methods of birth control are shifting from rare, unspoken secrets to a conventional part of today’s society, especially for college students.

As unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases are becoming a common topic of discussion, more women are taking advantage of birth control. For students at Ferris, both Birkam Health Center and Planned Parenthood have become popular sources for contraceptives.

“We offer a whole range of birth control pills, the birth control patch, the birth control ring, the Depo-Provera shot, the Nexplanon implant in the arm and several different IUDs, as well as condoms, both internal and external,” said Kim Duursma, senior education specialist at Planned Parenthood.

Although Planned Parenthood does not collect information about Ferris students, they can testify that Ferris students do access their services.

“Birth control pills are still the most popular method in the U.S. However, implants and IUDs are gaining in popularity because of effectiveness,” Duursma said.

Planned Parenthood is roughly three blocks away from Ferris; however, students have found Birkam to be another source for birth control.

“We currently offer birth control pills, Depo-Provera (the birth control shot) and NuvaRing,” acting director of the Birkam Health and Personal Counseling Center Deanna Goldthwait said.

Birkam is hoping to add more options with the hiring of their new physician, Dr. VanDeMark and they are working on the possibility of a program that would make condoms readily available.

So far this academic school year, roughly 100 students have visited Birkam for birth control. The most popular form of birth control among students is birth control pills, followed by the Depo-Provera shot and the Nuvaring.

“Birth control is a personal choice and we tailor treatment to the needs of the individual to the extent that we are able,” said Melissa Sprague, a registered nurse at Birkam Health Center. “If an option that is not currently available at the health center is determined to be most appropriate, a referral would be made.”

More information can be found at www.plannedparenthood.org or www.ferris.edu/ birkamhealthcenter.