By taking the Pledge, women can also show their support for She’s the First, a not-for-profit organization that sponsors girls’ education in the developing world and fosters leadership in young adults in America by inspiring them to lead fundraisers. Merck is proud to be working with She’s the First for the second year of this program
Merck and Her Campus encourage young women to ask themselves what potential roadblocks may arise. Throughout a planning process, it’s important to consider everything from internship or job application deadlines to financial considerations like student loans, while also practicing healthy lifestyle choices. Things like eating well, sleeping, exercising, and sticking to their scheduled doctor visits are important. Young women should also give some thought to a plan that may include birth control options that don’t have to be taken every day, and should speak with their doctors to explore options.
From a Merck-sponsored survey, Her Campus and the company know that approximately half of women aged 18-25 (228 out of 466 women who are not planning to have children in the next year, or at all) want to achieve their personal goals before having children. And data from the most recent statistics, 2006, show that there were more than three million unintended pregnancies in the United States alone, with the highest incidence occurring with women 20-24 years old.
“Research shows that 95 percent of unplanned pregnancies in the U.S. occur because contraception is used incorrectly, inconsistently, or not at all. As young women plan for their futures, it’s important they talk to their health care provider about all their birth control options, including non-daily contraceptives,” said Michelle Vichnin, M.D., director of Medical Affairs at Merck.
“I am so fortunate that every day I can wake up and do what I love,” said Tammy Tibbetts, founder and president of She’s the First. “Although I could have never predicted even five years ago being where I am today, higher education was always a part of my plan and I have devoted my career to helping young women gain access to education. When girls have a solid plan in place with a good foundation, they can dream big and take small steps each day to unlock their unlimited potential.”
Merck encourages all women to kick-start a plan for their future at the Plan It Forward section of HerCampus.com, and to ask themselves if their plan includes starting a family. At HerCampus.com, young women can find resources like the Course Creator, which helps them navigate the planning process and consider potential obstacles, next steps, and deadlines. Accompanied by a worksheet to help craft their personal roadmap, young women can leave the site with a better idea of how to chart their course.
Women can learn more about the Pledge and the Plan It Forward campaign by visiting www.HerCampus.com/PlanItForward.
The survey was conducted online within the United States by GfK on behalf of Merck from September 22 – October 6, 2011 among 700 women aged 18-25.