Unplanned and unsafe intimacy happens! Couples might get intimate without proper contraception in place or simply their mode of contraception might fail. In any of the cases, the chances of getting pregnant increases putting you in the fear or pressure of various types. Don’t panic! There are ways you can protect yourself from unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.
What Causes Unplanned Pregnancy?
Although sex education has improved over the years, it still lags in teaching the more intimate causes of unplanned pregnancy.
Sometimes unplanned pregnancies happen because neither of the partners uses birth control.
Some unexpected pregnancies happen even when birth control is involved.
Condoms can break and birth control pills sometimes fail.
Abortion is a frequent consequence of unwanted pregnancy.
The incorrect use of contraceptives can also lead to an unwanted pregnancy.
The unavailability of emergency contraceptive pills can lead to an unwanted pregnancy.
Inadequate knowledge about sex and its consequences can also lead to unplanned pregnancies.
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Emergency Contraception and Unprotected Sex:
Emergency contraception is a method of birth control that one can use if they had sex without using birth control or if their birth control method did not work properly.
Emergency contraceptive pills are different from abortion pills. If a woman is already pregnant, emergency contraceptive pills do not stop or harm her pregnancy.
Emergency contraception is also known as the "morning-after pill," but you don't have to wait until the morning after unprotected intercourse to take it.
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What Are My Emergency Contraceptive Options?
Emergency contraception can help keep one from getting pregnant if one had sex without using birth control or if the birth control method didn't work.
The Morning-After Pills
This is a common option after unprotected sex as it reduces the risk of pregnancy. It is a hormone-based medicine that delays ovulation. These are a popular brand of morning-after pills available over the counter at most pharmacies. There might be some more effective pills suitable for your situation but will mostly require a prescription.
Copper Intrauterine Device (IUD)
The copper IUD is a hormone-free, long-acting reverse contraceptive. When used for birth control, it can remain effective for up to 12 years, but it can also be used for emergency contraception as it prevents the eggs from implanting in the uterus.
Efficacy of Emergency Contraception
About 1 or 2 out of 100 women using ECPs will get pregnant despite taking the pills within 72 hours of having unprotected sex.
The name "morning after" is somewhat misleading because emergency contraception is most effective when taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex.
Emergency contraception will not prevent pregnancy if you have unprotected sex after taking ECPs.
Emergency contraception does not prevent all pregnancies. Therefore, one should see a doctor if she misses her next expected period after taking ECPs.
Women may face some negative effects of using emergency contraception like:
Spotting between periods
Heavier bleeding during your period
How Can Unwanted Pregnancy be Prevented?
We all hate unpleasant surprises, especially those that have the potential to disrupt our lives. Unwanted pregnancies find a pretty high mention on this list of unpleasant surprises. If you want to avoid unwanted pregnancies, take the following precautions:
The condom is the only form of contraception that protects against most STIs and prevents pregnancy.
The oral contraceptive pill is a small tablet that is taken once a day. There are a few different types of pills to choose from, so it's all about finding the one that's right for you.
The emergency contraceptive pill can be used to prevent pregnancy after sex if birth control was not used or if a condom broke during sexual intercourse.
When young girls are taught that abstinence is the only option, i.e "The only assured method to avoid getting pregnant is to avoid having sex" they never learn all the ways to accidentally get pregnant and, in most cases, face an unplanned pregnancy when they finally have sex. When used correctly, standard contraception is 90 to 99 percent effective. Condoms are 98 percent effective and the birth control pill is 99.7 percent. By following proper sex education and promoting the proper and regular use of contraception, each individual can play a role in minimizing unwanted pregnancies.