Contraceptive News article 4/8/16

How can I get contraceptives at UCSC?

Non-prescription contraceptives (condoms and other safer sex supplies) are available at the Condom Co-op and the Student Health Center Pharmacy on campus.

Other contraceptives including pills, patch, ring, injection, diaphragm, IUD, Implantable products, etc. require a prescription. You may make an appointment for an annual exam with a clinician at the UCSC Student Health Center or you may bring in or transfer a prescription from elsewhere. (see posted information regarding transferring your prescription)

I am already taking birth control pills, but I am experiencing side effects. What should I do?

First establish whether you may have a rare but serious effect from pills, and if so, medical care should be sought immediately for the following:


“A”- abdominal pain. unusually severe or persistent pain under the lower right ribs that could indicate liver or gall bladder problems.
“C” – chest pai. sudden shortness of breath and sharp, localized chest pain which is unrelated to other causes.
“H” – headaches increased number of migraine headaches or a severe headache with dizziness, visual changes, weakness or a change in your mental state, such as confusion.
“E” – eye problems sudden visual loss or blurring
“S” – severe leg pain tenderness, pain, redness in one calf or thigh that is unrelated to injury or overuse.

If you have just begun taking birth control pills, and do not have serious side effects, continue to take them for approximately 3 months, since it takes your body time to get used to the new hormones. If, after that time, you are still unhappy with the prescription, make an appointment with a clinician.

NOTE: Minor side effects include nausea, bleeding between periods, no period, breast tenderness, emotional changes, and complexion changes. Minor side effects usually resolve with time. Some of these can be lessened by making small changes. Contact the pharmacist or read your handouts for suggestions.

I forgot to take my pills. What should I do?

Each manufacturer provides instructions to their unique product. If you have questions call the Pharmacist at 459-2360.

I've run out of packs of pills and I have no refills left. What should I do?

  • If you received your prescription from our pharmacy: 
    • If it is time for your annual, make another appointment with your clinician or a clinician at the UCSC Student Health Center. Then come to the pharmacy and the pharmacist will dispense one emergency pack for pills prescribed by one of our clinicians, to take you through to your appointment.
    • If you just started your contraception 3-6 months ago and are happy with it you may only need to see the nurse. The first time you are prescribed contraception, there is a double check by a nurse to determine whether everything is going as planned. You can come to the Same Day Clinic, see the nurse and if the interview goes well, the nurse will contact the pharmacy and prescribe the rest of the year for you, then it will be time for another annual exam.
  • If you had a prescription from an outside clinician, the pharmacist can contact that office and request additional refills. However, you need to follow your clinician’s instructions for follow up appointments. You can bring your pack of pills, come to the Same Day Clinic, and speak to a nurse about having someone prescribe one pack.

I'm very confused. What should I do?

You can call the pharmacy or the advice nurse to help you clarify any issues. You my also make an appointment with a clinician. Pharmacy phone 831-459-2360, Appointment Phone 831-459-2500.