Planned Parenthood helps prepare Elans

Safety First—The chart above lists non-hormonal birth control methods and their efectiveness against pregnancies. CN/ Steven Adamo

By Melody Ortiz

The Health Center partnered with Planned Parenthood Pasedena San Gabiel Valley to kick off a three-day sex education series by spreading awareness and information on the different types of birth control yesterday.

Mary Lou Mercado and Stef Lynch of Planned Parenthood set up a booth in the East Los Angeles College quad to answer questions to curious passersby. 

They passed out pamphlets and flyers about birth control and safe sex.

A Planned Parenthood chart informed readers on the types of birth control, how to use them, side effects, effectiveness, benefits and whether or not they can protect against sexually transmitted infections.

The chart divided methods up into three categories: hormonal, non-hormonal and permanent methods.

Mercado said it is hard to gage which methods are the most popular. “It’s really consulting with the doctor and seeing what’s the best fit,” she said. “For someone who is, for example, really really forgetful, the pill may not be the best fit because you have to remember to take that every single day.”

She also said side effects are different depending on the person and their method. “The only birth control that’s specific to weight gain is the depo shot,” Mercado said.

She said the injection doesn’t necessarily make someone gain weight, it just gives                                         them a bigger appetite.

Methods that are 99% effective are the implant, the hormonal intrauterine contraceptive (IUC or IUD), the non-hormonal IUC, vasectomy and tubal sterilization.

The only method that is 100% effective at preventing pregnancy is abstinence, and the only two methods that protect against STIs are internal and external condoms.

A Planned Parenthood pamphlet titled What You Should Know About Safer Sex said that the top three important things to know about safer sex is that it helps protect against STIs, the best way to practice it is to use barriers (condoms for intercourse and dental dams for oral sex) and it’s important to talk to one’s partner about safer sex.

The booth had a wheel for people to spin and test their knowledge on the category it landed on.

Lynch said they like to come to ELAC at least once a month, last month being for an LGBTQ+ support booth.

The Health Center will hold a sound bath meditation event today from 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the G3 foyer. 

Its last event will be a short-film screening and open dialogue on the topic of mental health from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the multipurpose room, where food will be provided.

The Health Center is located in F5-302 and the number for the center is (323) 265-8651. Anyone who would like more information on birth control and Planned Parenthood can visit or call (626) 798-7266.

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