When I was living on my own, birth control was a major portion of my budget. $45-$75 a month for pills? That’s your “fun money”–or in my case, money I needed to save to pay taxes at the end of the year (freelancers pay their own employment taxes in America–you don’t see them if you’re employed because your employer pays for them).
If I got a urinary tract infection or a vaginal infection, or even a really bad case of yeast that I thought might be a vaginal infection because over-the-counter treatments didn’t seem to help, it was off to the doctor’s for an expensive prescription. I went to an open clinic once for testing, but I had to wait so long to be tested and even longer for everything else. I lost a whole day of work for my efforts. I guess if I were unemployed, that could have been fun. But I resented losing time on my deadlines. Someone at gURL.com commented you could get birth control options for free, but I suppose not in Roanoke, Virginia.
In the end, I would just wait until I was visiting my mom on the mountain where they had a government funded sliding scale clinic. I could beat my costs down substantially, but it meant waiting.
We really need to make birth control more widely available for young women in this country. Not just high schoolers, but women striking out on their own. Guys don’t have to pay for this stuff, so they have a financial advantage. Condoms are cheap, but even if a girl uses one, she can end up stuck with an infection (caused by latex irritation and abrasion) that costs upwards of $75 to treat (plus lost wages from and the cost from visiting a physician).
If you have any good resources for programs that help young women with their sexual expenses, please post them!