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So you hooked up with this guy last night and the condom broke, or even worse you didn’t use one.  Well, you there’s a good chance you may become pregnant.  Fortunately, emergency contraception is available for these types of situations.  Emergency contraception (EC) is a treatment regimen designed to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse or birth control failure.

There are two treatment plans you can choose from: progestin-only or combined estrogen and progestin methods.  Very similar to regular birth control. Please note that emergency contraception is not to be used in place of a real borth control method.  I repeat, this is not to be used on a regular basis.  Get an IUD! 🙂

EC that is progestin-only reduces the odds of getting pregnant by 89% and is most effective during the first 72 hours of unprotected sex.  This method is generally better tolerated than than the combined regimen.  Plan B One-step is the brand readily available to women 17 and older without a prescription.  If you are younger than that, you will need a prescription from your healthcare provider.

Combined estrogen and progestin treatment reduces the risk of pregnancy by 75% when taken within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse.  Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, and fatigue.  Some women may complain about the side effects, but think about this: those are the same side effects that you would experience during pregnancy.  These side effects are temporary with the drug (that’s if you experience any at all), but if you’re pregnant those side effects may last during the entire 9 months and you’ll have a baby to raise when all is said and done.  Make an educated decision.

There is also a new drug on the market called Ella that can be taken within 120 hours or 5 days after unprotected sex or contraception failure.  You will need a prescription for this medication, regardless of your age.

Certain brands of oral birth control pills may also be used as EC when prescribed by your healthcare provider in higher than usual doses.  This means that you can end up taking as many as 40 pills at once.  You will definately experience an upset stomach at the very least if you choose to go that route.

Even if you are currently taking birth control, it may be a good idea to just have a dose of EC at home for emergencies just in case.  You can never be too careful when it comes to preventing unwanted pregnancies.

Pregnancy shouldn’t be your only concern when the condom breaks or whatever the case may be…STDs are also a major concern, especially if it was a random hook up and you don’t know/trust the guy all that much.  Get tested ASAP!

Hope that you are never in the situation to need EC, but I know life happens.  Now you have enough information to form a game plan.

Remember, ladies, keep a healthy demeanor, both inside and out.

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