Metro Health, UT Health San Antonio partnering to offer free birth control for 1-year study

Women in study would get progestin-only pill

By Patty Santos - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - The Metropolitan Health District and UT Health San Antonio are partnering to offer women free birth control pills for a year.

Dr. Junda Woo, medical director of Metro Health, said it’s an effort to help educate women and reduce the number of unintended pregnancies. 

Metro Health is looking for 200 uninsured women to take a survey and get tested for sexually transmitted diseases as part of the one-year study. 

The district is looking at an express model of contraception.

“To see how it works when we provide pills without a doctor visit, without a nurse visit, without a pelvic exam. People can just walk in, fill out a form and get pills. That’s not how things work right now,” Woo said.

Women will get a progestin-only pill, also known as POP. It can be taken by breastfeeding women, and it can be discontinued without any adverse effect. The pill may cause periods to become lighter and unpredictable.

The study can also serve the dual purpose of informing women about STDs.

“Four out of 5 women don’t know when they have chlamydia or gonorrhea, so those are the most common ones,” Woo said. “So this helps in our drive to prevent the spread of STDs, as well.”

The study started Friday, and already, 20 women have signed up.

The study is being done at the HIV/STD Clinic at 512 E. Highland Blvd. on Fridays from 1-4 p.m. Call 210-207-8830.

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