General

Should the Emergency Contraceptive (EC) be more accessible in Singapore?

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21 Sep 2016 - General
 

Emergency contraception, also known as “Plan B” and “the morning after pill”, is birth control you can use to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. They claim that it is widely available in Singapore with many brands to choose from. The question I want to present is "Is it easily accessible for those needing it?" Emergency contraception is usually more effective the earlier you take it after unprotected sex. This means that if you need emergency contraception, the emergency contraceptive ideally needs to be taken within 48-72 hours of unprotected sex for optimal effects. 

In Singapore, emergency contraception is only available with a prescription, so you need to consult a doctor (general practitioners can usually help). This to me does not seem like an easily accessible medication. As its name suggests - it is required in emergency situations. The EC should not be seen as a stigma of it being "an easy fix" after having unprotected sex. Many seek the EC because they were sexually assaulted, date raped or otherwise forced to have unprotected sex. 

In Australia, the EC is also available through the pharmacist. The same rules apply when seeing a doctor in Singapore for it. A woman must consult the pharmacist herself; a man cannot consult with the pharmacist on behalf of his partner. In other words, if you are a man whose partner needs EC, she needs to see the pharmacist herself. Pharmacists need to check on any allergies or current medications that can affect having the EC. As pharmacies tend to have longer trading hours than doctor clinics, I think it is a wise decision to make it available in pharmacies. So why can't it be treated like a pharmacist prescribed medication in Singapore? 

What is it like in other countries? 

  

That is fair. I do also agree that having it prescribed only by the doctor is the safer option as mentioned by most. However, with regards to it becoming a problem if readily available when a minor finds a willing adult to 'purchase' it... Could this problem not also be a concern for doctor clinics as well? I would think the chances of someone walking into a doctor clinic and pretending they require the EC for someone else is still possible. The barriers are still the same (ideally if th...
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I think the morning after pill or the emergency contraceptive shouldn't be made readily available, but women needing it shouldn't be given a hard time getting it if they need it. For instance, a visit to the ER, I don't know. I agree with all the points that Mark Edmon Tan raised about maintaining it as a prescribed medication. The trouble with making it readily available is when a minor finds a willi...
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I think we are over-generalising that the EC is used irresponsibly by the majority e.g. unprotected sex only happens premaritally or all EC seekers are being coerced to buy them due to sex without consent. In many cases, women seek the EC simply because they forgot to use protection and this can happen for married couples as well who may not be planning for babies yet. Unprotected sex is not always an act of sin. It can be a common act in all kinds of relationships. Furthermore, the EC is not so...
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As stated doctors can prescribed and i feel that is most ethical thing to do especially it is a drug that could possibly be abused by public. And furthermore selling in over the counter in the pharmacy will not stop unprotected sex and in other way encouraging people to rely on this drug just because they were too lazy to get up and get a cap. Some countries respect the religions that are living among them and impose these rules so that premarital sex or unprotected sex are not encouraged in the...
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In the Philippines, I am not quite sure but I think it can be secured with a prescription from a doctor. I feel that it should remain to be dispensed with prescription for the following reasons: 1.) Protection of women against coercion. Male partners would often force women to take ECs to avoid unwanted pregnancy (a selfish motive). 2.) Prevent polygamy. Having multiple sexual partners is the main risk factor for STIs and unwanted pregnancies 3.) Prevent irresponsible use. Making ECs available o...
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I think this should be readily available but if you think about it from the context that the woman was sexually assaulted she should see the doctor immediately. This will allow for complete physical examination of all injuries and to document them for medicolegal actions. There is also the need for testing for STDs as well possible post-trauma counselling. I understand that the woman should be able to have access to the morning after pill immediately but at the same time she should be seen by th...
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