Teva Women’s Health, Inc. and Kinsey Institute at Indiana University Survey Reveals U.S. College Students Need to Study Up on Emergency Contraception (2023)

Survey Uncovers Disconnect Between Students’ Contraception Use, Perceived Risk of Unintended Pregnancy and Knowledge about Over-the-Counter Emergency Contraception

Teva Women’s Health, Inc., the maker of Plan B One-Step® (levonorgestrel) 1.5 mg tablet, announced today results of the first-ever “EC IQ” survey of 3,600 female and male undergraduate and graduate students in the United States. The Teva-sponsored survey was developed and conducted by research scientists at the Kinsey Institute, Indiana University, an institution focused on sexuality, gender and reproduction research. The survey assessed students’ contraception use and attitudes about unintended pregnancy, and revealed what demographic and lifestyle factors may contribute to their level of knowledge about over-the-counter (OTC) emergency contraception (EC), or their “EC IQ.”

The survey revealed 64 percent of 2,638 sexually active college students surveyed are using contraception inconsistently, yet only 15 percent of students sampled believe they are at high risk of an unintended pregnancy. This disconnect between contraception use and perceived risk is particularly noteworthy, given prior research shows 45 percent of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unintended (unwanted or mistimed) and 41 percent of those pregnancies are due to inconsistent use of contraception. In the survey, 69 percent of students revealed an unintended pregnancy would be highly disruptive to their lives, though many did not know some of the most basic facts about OTC EC, which helps prevent pregnancy when used as directed after unprotected sex or birth control failure. OTC EC should not be used as regular birth control because it is not as effective.

“With the unintended pregnancy rate in the U.S. remaining high and college students reporting having sex without consistent, regular contraception use, it’s important they know how OTC EC works and where to get it if they need it,” said Dr. Justin Garcia, lead researcher for the survey and renowned expert in sexual health at the Kinsey Institute, Indiana University. “These survey findings clearly illustrate the need for more open and honest discussion about reproductive health, contraception, and OTC EC.”

In the survey, EC IQ was assessed by asking 3,600 respondents a series of 12 questions on OTC EC, including what is required to purchase it in the U.S., how it works, what it is and what it is not. The survey revealed many were not well informed about OTC EC, specifically:

  • 62 percent of students falsely believed there was an age restriction to purchase OTC EC.
  • 53 percent were unaware an I.D. is not necessary to purchase OTC EC. In fact, OTC EC has been available in the U.S. without an age restriction or I.D. requirement since 2013.
  • 57 percent of students were not aware OTC EC should be taken up to 72 hours (three days) following unprotected sex or birth control failure. The sooner it’s taken, the better it works.

After evaluating what students know about OTC EC, the survey assessed a range of lifestyle and demographic factors to investigate what may contribute to a lower or higher EC IQ. On average, the survey found students with a higher EC IQ include: women, students who think about sex often, students in committed dating relationships, students who attend private colleges, and students who identify as night owls. Conversely, students with a lower EC IQ include: men, students who have had more sexual partners in the last year, students who frequently use dating apps, students who attend single-sex colleges, and students who play varsity sports.

“At Teva Women’s Health, we are committed to educating women, and men, including college students, about their contraception options so they feel empowered to make informed decisions about their reproductive health,” said Deb Macaleer, Vice President and General Manager of Teva Women’s Health. “Working with a leading institution like the Kinsey Institute to uncover what college students know about OTC EC is a significant step in addressing education gaps to provide students with accurate information.”

About Plan B One-Step®

Plan B One-Step® (levonorgestrel) 1.5 mg tablet is a progestin-only emergency contraceptive that helps prevent pregnancy when taken within 72 hours (3 days) after birth control failure or unprotected sex. The sooner it’s taken, the better it works. PlanB One-Step® works mainly by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary. It is possible that PlanBOne-Step® may also work by preventing fertilization of an egg (the uniting of sperm with the egg) or by preventing attachment (implantation) to the uterus (womb). When used as directed, about 7 out of every 8 women who would have gotten pregnant will not become pregnant after taking PlanBOne-Step®. Plan B One-Step® is not an abortion pill; it will not work if a woman is already pregnant and will not affect an existing pregnancy. Plan B One-Step® is a back-up method of preventing pregnancy, and should not be used as regular birth control because it is not as effective. Side effects may include menstrual changes, nausea, lower stomach (abdominal) pain, tiredness, headache, dizziness, breast pain, and vomiting. Plan B One-Step® does not protect a woman against HIV/AIDS or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). For additional information, visit or call the Plan B One-Step® Information Center at 800-330-1271.

About Teva

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. is a leading global pharmaceutical company that delivers high-quality, patient-centric healthcare solutions used by millions of patients every day. Headquartered in Israel, Teva is the world’s largest generic medicines producer, leveraging its portfolio of more than 1,800 molecules to produce a wide range of generic products in nearly every therapeutic area. In specialty medicines, Teva has a world-leading position in innovative treatments for disorders of the central nervous system, including pain, as well as a strong portfolio of respiratory products. Teva integrates its generics and specialty capabilities in its global research and development division to create new ways of addressing unmet patient needs by combining drug development capabilities with devices, services and technologies. Teva's net revenues in 2015 were $19.7 billion. For more information, visit

Teva's Safe Harbor Statement under the U. S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995:

This release contains forward-looking statements, which are based on management’s current beliefs and expectations and involve a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause our future results, performance or achievements to differ significantly from the results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include risks relating to: our ability to develop and commercialize additional pharmaceutical products; competition for our specialty products, especially Copaxone® (which faces competition from orally-administered alternatives and a generic version); our ability to integrate Allergan plc’s worldwide generic pharmaceuticals business (“Actavis Generics”) and to realize the anticipated benefits of the acquisition (and the timing of realizing such benefits); the fact that following the consummation of the Actavis Generics acquisition, we are dependent to a much larger extent than previously on our generic pharmaceutical business; potential restrictions on our ability to engage in additional transactions or incur additional indebtedness as a result of the substantial amount of debt incurred to finance the Actavis Generics acquisition; the fact that for a period of time following the Actavis Generics acquisition, we will have significantly less cash on hand than previously, which could adversely affect our ability to grow; the possibility of material fines, penalties and other sanctions and other adverse consequences arising out of our ongoing FCPA investigations and related matters; our ability to achieve expected results from investments in our pipeline of specialty and other products; our ability to identify and successfully bid for suitable acquisition targets or licensing opportunities, or to consummate and integrate acquisitions; the extent to which any manufacturing or quality control problems damage our reputation for quality production and require costly remediation; increased government scrutiny in both the U.S. and Europe of our patent settlement agreements; our exposure to currency fluctuations and restrictions as well as credit risks; the effectiveness of our patents, confidentiality agreements and other measures to protect the intellectual property rights of our specialty medicines; the effects of reforms in healthcare regulation and pharmaceutical pricing, reimbursement and coverage; competition for our generic products, both from other pharmaceutical companies and as a result of increased governmental pricing pressures; governmental investigations into sales and marketing practices, particularly for our specialty pharmaceutical products; adverse effects of political or economic instability, major hostilities or acts of terrorism on our significant worldwide operations; interruptions in our supply chain or problems with internal or third-party information technology systems that adversely affect our complex manufacturing processes; significant disruptions of our information technology systems or breaches of our data security; competition for our specialty pharmaceutical businesses from companies with greater resources and capabilities; the impact of continuing consolidation of our distributors and customers; decreased opportunities to obtain U.S. market exclusivity for significant new generic products; potential liability in the U.S., Europe and other markets for sales of generic products prior to a final resolution of outstanding patent litigation; our potential exposure to product liability claims that are not covered by insurance; any failure to recruit or retain key personnel, or to attract additional executive and managerial talent; any failures to comply with complex Medicare and Medicaid reporting and payment obligations; significant impairment charges relating to intangible assets, goodwill and property, plant and equipment; the effects of increased leverage and our resulting reliance on access to the capital markets; potentially significant increases in tax liabilities; the effect on our overall effective tax rate of the termination or expiration of governmental programs or tax benefits, or of a change in our business; variations in patent laws that may adversely affect our ability to manufacture our products in the most efficient manner; environmental risks; and other factors that are discussed in our Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2015 and in our other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made and we assume no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements or other information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Teva Women’s Health, Inc. and Kinsey Institute at Indiana University Survey Reveals U.S.College Students Need to Study Up on Emergency Contraception (1)

Teva Women’s Health, Inc.
United States
Denise Bradley, 215-591-8974
Nancy Leone, 215-284-0213
Michelle Larkin, 610-786-7335


How many college girls are on the pill? ›

Nearly 40 percent of female college students are on the Pill, according to the American College Health Association, and of all those who use some kind of birth control, three in five choose the pill.

What percent of college students use birth control? ›

Use of Reproductive Health Services among College Students

A 2016 National College Health Association survey found that 55 percent of college women used a method of contraception at most recent intercourse (American College Health Association 2016). The majority of these women reported using oral contraceptives.

What are the effects of plan B? ›

Fatigue. Headache. Breast tenderness. Bleeding between periods or heavier menstrual bleeding.

Does plan b affect pregnancy? ›

Plan B is not effective after pregnancy has occurred and cannot interrupt it. Plan B won't harm a developing fetus. If Plan B is taken mistakenly during pregnancy, it will not harm the developing fetus. Using Plan B will not affect a woman's ability to become pregnant in the future.

What percent of the time do condoms work? ›

At a glance: condoms

When used correctly every time you have sex, male condoms are 98% effective. This means 2 out of 100 people will become pregnant in 1 year when male condoms are used as contraception. You can get free condoms from contraception clinics, sexual health clinics and some GP surgeries.

How many girls are on the pill? ›

Pill use decreased with increasing age: 16.6% of women aged 15–19 were currently using the pill compared with 19.5% of women aged 20–29, 11.0% of those aged 30–39, and 5.1% of those aged 40–49.

Do I need birth control after 45? ›

Both the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the North American Menopause Society recommend that women continue contraceptive use until menopause or age 50–55 years (333,334). The median age of menopause is approximately 51 years in North America (333) but can vary from ages 40 to 60 years (335).

What is the most used form of contraception among college students? ›

The birth control Pill (the Pill) is by far the most popular form on contraception on college campuses in the United States. Nearly forty percent of college women use the Pill to prevent pregnancy according to the American College Health Association.

Is birth control free for college students? ›

Many colleges require students to have health insurance, whether it's a private health plan or health coverage offered by the university, and under the Affordable Care Act, all private insurances — as well as most student plans — must cover contraceptives at no cost to patients.

How can I get morning-after pill for free? ›

Getting it for free

some pharmacies (find a pharmacy – ask if they provide free emergency contraception) most sexual health or genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics. most NHS walk-in centres and minor injuries units. most GP surgeries (find a GP)

Can Plan B throw off your cycle? ›

Official answer. Yes, Plan B (levonorgestrel) can delay your period or cause bleeding to occur outside of regular menstrual bleeding because levonorgestrel is a synthetic hormone. To prevent pregnancy, Plan B, like other birth control pills, must alter your hormone levels, which can prompt these menstrual changes.

How many times can you have unprotected? ›

Every instance of unprotected sex, short, accidental, or “just once” puts you at risk of becoming pregnant. Even if you're on your period – because conception can sometimes occur during menstruation. The one and only way to avoid pregnancy is to use a contraception method – every time!

What is the weight limit for Plan B? ›

In the U.S., there is no weight limit for Plan B. Health Canada, a regulatory agency, placed a warning on levonorgestrel products for their country, though. The labels warn of lower effectiveness in those who weigh more than 165 lbs and a lack of effectiveness in those who weigh more than 175 lbs.

Does Plan B mess with your hormones? ›

Levonorgestrel is found in birth control pills, but Plan B contains a higher dose that can alter your body's natural hormone levels. The extra hormones can, in turn, affect the menstrual cycle, leading to an earlier or delayed period as well as heavier or lighter bleeding.

How many days after period can you not get pregnant? ›

For example, if your longest cycle is 30 days long, subtract 11 from 30 — you get 19. Then, count 19 days starting from day 1. If day 1 was on the 4th of the month, you'll mark X on the 22nd. So the 22nd is your last fertile day of this cycle — you can start having unprotected sex the next day.

Can u buy condoms at age 13? ›

How old do you need to be to buy condoms? You can buy condoms at any age. Condoms are available in drugstores, Planned Parenthood health centers, other community health centers, some supermarkets, and from vending machines.

Should you use condoms with the pill? ›

While on the pill should you still use a condom when having sex? It's a good idea to use condoms every time you have sex if you want to protect against sexually transmitted infections as well as pregnancy. When used correctly, the pill is up to 99.7 percent effective against pregnancy.

Can you double condoms? ›

No, you should never use more than one condom at a time. Using two condoms actually offers less protection than using just one. Why? Using two condoms can cause friction between them, weakening the material and increasing the chance that the condoms might break.

When did birth control pills become popular? ›

The Pill Has Greatly Shaped American Women's Lives

Between 1970 and 1990, hormonal birth control accounted for some 30 percent of the increase in the rate of women entering skilled careers like medicine and law. It has also been the most influential factor enabling women to stay in college.

Was there birth control in the 80s? ›

1980s The FDA approves new low-dose hormonal contraceptive pills and a new copper IUD, ParaGard. People become increasingly aware of the Yuzpe regimen for emergency contraception, which entails taking multiple birth control pills within 72 hours of intercourse in order to prevent ovulation.

Was there birth control in the 70s? ›

The contraceptive pill became available for unmarried women in the US in 1972. Abortion became legal in the US 1973 (it had been legal in the U.K since 1968) and gave women the legal right to safely choose to end their pregnancy.

When was contraception illegal in the US? ›

Making Birth Control a Federal Crime

On March 3, 1873, Congress passed the new law, later known as the Comstock Act. The statute defined contraceptives as obscene and illicit, making it a federal offense to disseminate birth control through the mail or across state lines.

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