There is nothing like waking up in the morning feeling concerned about a possible mishap with a partner or running out of basic feminine hygiene products. More and more college students no longer have to worry about driving to their nearest pharmacy for these items with the increasing presence of contraception vending machines on campus.
An easier way to get contraception
Stanford University recently installed a digital vending machine that dispenses “My Way” contraception pills, also known as a “Morning After” pill or “Plan B” pill. The pill can be used after an unprotected sexual encounter. Time is of the essence with emergency contraceptive options like this because “the chance of pregnancy” is reduced by “87 percent if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex.”
The vending machine also dispenses condoms and birth control 24/7.
In 2015, a former student Rachel Samuels came up with the idea to have these vending machines after her brother assisted with installing similar machines at Ponoma College.
The contraceptive vending machines on Stanford’s campus were paid for by the student government.
Becoming more widespread on campuses
A sophomore student at the University of California Davis by the name of Parteek Singh, was proactive about getting contraceptive vending machines installed in 2015. In March, he worked on a vending machine for the students which “was installed outside the Health and Wellness Center on campus.” The vending machine includes products such as Plan B, pregnancy tests, and other feminine hygiene products.
Not long before the vending machine was installed, the students had trouble purchasing emergency contraception “on a Friday night.” Since it was the weekend, the campus health center was closed and the 24-hour pharmacy had run out of Plan B.
Singh did not want to call it a Plan B vending machine saying, “‘let’s try calling it a Health and Wellness machine,'” adding that they should supply other products besides just contraceptives so that they were “targeting the whole student body” because “not everyone is sexually active.”
The “Wellness To Go” vending machines at UC Davis include over-the-counter medicines like Advil, allergy medicines, and tampons as well.