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Tribal Health offers free emergency contraception

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FLATHEAD RESERVATION — On Aug. 1, Tribal Health of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes began providing the over-the-counter drug, Plan B One-StepR emergency contraception, to any female, any age, without a prescription.

This is part of a continued effort to provide comprehensive family planning services, including multiple forms of birth control, in addition to Plan B One-StepR emergency contraception.

Plan B One-StepR emergency contraception is a backup plan that helps prevent pregnancy when taken within 72 hours (three days) after unprotected sex or birth control failure.

Plan B One-StepR contains levonorgestrel, the same hormone used in many birth control pills, just at a higher dose. It should not be used as regular birth control, because it’s not as effective. When taken as directed, Plan B One-StepR helps prevent nearly seven out of eight potential pregnancies.

In June 2013, the Food and Drug Administration approved Plan B One-StepR for over-the-counter availability for females of all ages without a prescription.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, there are no medical contraindications to the use of an emergency contraceptive.

The distribution of the Plan B One-StepR EC pill does not require any of the following: a prescription, a pregnancy test, age verification, patient registration, a provider visit or Electronic Health Record (EHR) documentation.

Tribal Health will make this emergency contraception available to all females including female victims of sexual assault and to their patient representatives. Staff will be available to distribute the Plan B One-StepR emergency contraception pill at the pharmacies of both Polson and St. Ignatius Health Centers, in addition to the Hot Springs, Elmo, Salish Kootenai College, Ronan, and Arlee Health Centers.

Tribal Health of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes provides comprehensive health care services to recipients including audiology/speech; behavioral health; community health; dental; medical; optical; pharmacy; physical therapy; wellness and X-ray across a broad network on the Flathead Indian Reservation. Tribal Health is dedicated to a promise that every Tribal Health recipient receives quality health care grounded in tribal values, supporting each recipient’s journey of “Being in a Good Way.”

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