Vending machine dispenses emergency contraception

Vending machine offerings at a Pennsylvania university are expanding beyond the world of junk food and into the world of contraception.  

Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania now offers the emergency contraceptive Plan B One-Step in a vending machine in the school’s Etter Health Center after a survey found that 85% of students supported doing so. The vending machine is located in a private room in the health center, which is only accessible by students after they have checked in with a front desk and been granted access to the treatment area.

Plan B is an emergency contraception that can be used to prevent pregnancy if taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex, according to the FDA. It is available over the counter without a prescription for women over the age of 17.

The machine is really used as much for privacy as anything else if a student wants to come in.

VP of Student Affairs Roger Serr

While Smith, who is a physician at Wesleyan University, has not heard of any other campus selling emergency contraception out of a vending machine, he does not see it as a problem.

“We know Plan B is safe and effective, so it’s really no different from ibuprofen or some other medication available in a vending machine.”

Known possible side effects of Plan B include nausea, lower abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, and dizziness.

Other Stories