The UC Santa Barbara Women’s Center hosted an informational meeting on contraceptive options available on campus on Oct. 18 at the Women’s Center Community Room.
The question-guided presentation — titled “Pills, Plans, and Protection: Navigating UCSB’s Contraceptive Options” — was hosted by Student Health Nurse Practitioner Angie Magaña (N.P.) and gynecologist Kellie DeLozier (M.D./F.A.C.O.G), and served to inform students about different contraceptive options and how to access them through Student Health.
Magaña and DeLozier used the Student Health Services (SHS) Sexual and Reproductive Health website to inform the presentation. The website shares resources about different contraceptives, STI and STD testing, medication, abortions and more.
“The way that we get people engaged with us is through our website,” Magaña said.
The first tab on the website is the Birth Control Library, which contains research resources for the different methods of birth control, many of which can be accessed through Student Health. Under the Affordable Care Act, birth control methods such as pills, rings and patches are fully covered by all insurance providers, including the UC Student Health Insurance Plan (UC SHIP). IUDs, rings and patches are also all covered by UC SHIP insurance. The rings, patches and pills may also be covered by your insurance provider if UC SHIP is waived. A graph on the website lists what other services are covered by UC SHIP, such as STI testing.
“It depends on your insurance coverage. So, if you have the UC SHIP insurance, all STI testing is free. If you have the GAP insurance, some STI testing is free,” Magaña said.
To set up a birth control prescription or appointment, students can use MyHealthPortal. Under appointments, students should select “Student Health Services,” “Medical Services” then “Sexual and Reproductive Health.” From there, students can choose what service they would like to access.
For birth control pills, students can choose to set up their prescription with or without an appointment — though a recent blood pressure test will be necessary, according to the site.
Contraceptive resources, such as emergency contraceptives (Plan B) and pregnancy tests, are also available at the vending machine on the second floor of the library, across from the elevators.
“[The vending machine] is a collaboration between Student Health and the Women’s Center,” Magaña said. “It gets very well utilized in the library.”
Events and presentations like Thursday’s act as an access point to Student Health by connecting more students with their services. Other events at the Women’s Center, or with Student Health, are typically posted about on Instagram or Shoreline.
“Student Health is committed to engaging with the students more than just us staying in our one little place,” Magaña said. “If I meet 15 people, and each one of these people goes out and tells their friends, and is like, ‘oh here, here’s how you go online,’ […] that’s capacity.”
DeLozier, co-host and gynecologist at the SHS, agreed with Magaña’s point.
“Even just 15 people is more than we could’ve seen in an afternoon,” she said.
Alongside discussing contraceptives and access points, Magaña and DeLozier also mentioned some of the driving philosophies behind their work. They stressed the importance of reproductive autonomy and control over your own reproductive choices.
“It’s kind of that constant line, like my body, my choice. It’s my body to make the decision about when I’m going to be pregnant, when I’m not going to be pregnant,” Magaña said. “We just want to give people the information and the accurate information that they need to make those decisions.”
A version of this article appeared on p. 5 of the Oct. 26, 2023, print edition of the Daily Nexus.