One of the realest things I have ever seen in a TV show was in the first episode of Master of None. In it, Aziz Ansari’s character is hooking up with someone when the condom breaks, and next thing they know they're on the way to a pharmacy to pick up some emergency contraceptives. It was refreshingly honest — there’s nothing like the panic that arises when you’re trying to figure out how to not get pregnant after he came inside you by accident.
Maybe the condom broke, or you used the pull-out method and your partner wasn't able to withdraw in time. (According to Planned Parenthood, the pull-out method is only 78% effective, which means one in five people who use it as their main form of contraception will likely get pregnant. It’s most effective when used with another form of contraception, like a condom.) Regardless of why he came inside you, think carefully about your next steps. If you move quickly, you can access emergency contraceptives that can help reduce your risk of becoming pregnant.
As stressed as you may be, try not to panic. You're not the first person in this situation and you won’t be the last. Here’s what to do next.
Take The Morning-After Pill
If you want to prevent pregnancy after a birth control method fails, go to a pharmacy, medical center, or Planned Parenthood to get your hands on a morning-after pill ASAP. You have up to 120 hours (five days) after unprotected sex to take Plan B, which will lower your chance of getting pregnant by 78-89% — if your BMI is less than 25.
Plan B has been shown to be less effective with a higher BMI, but that does not mean that folks with a BMI above 25 don't have options. According to Julia Huff, a women's health nurse practitioner at New York University, Plan B is "much less effective in people who have a BMI over 25, which is the majority of Americans for sure." In that case, she suggests asking your gynecologist for a prescription for ella (ulipristal acetate). “[It] is believed to be effective in people up to a BMI of 35," explained Huff.
If you're afraid to take any form of emergency contraception because your choice is not to terminate a pregnancy (it's all about choice, folks), board-certified gynecologist Dr. Rupal Juran tells Elite Daily there’s nothing to worry about. Emergency contraception works by preventing, not ending, a pregnancy. “By delaying ovulation, you can minimize the chances of the sperm fertilizing the egg, and this is how pregnancy is prevented. The morning-after pill does not cause abortion,” she explains.
Pregnancy does not occur immediately after sex. In fact, it can take up to six days for the sperm to reach the egg. Plan B stops this from happening at all by preventing your ovary from releasing an egg. In other words, you're just hitting pause on your ovulation.
It is important to note that the morning-after pill does have some side effects that users can find uncomfortable, says Dr. Juran. They include “irregular bleeding, cramping and nausea.”
Talk To Your Doctor About Getting A Copper IUD
A copper IUD (ParaGard) is another form of emergency contraception that conveniently doubles as a long-lasting birth control method. When inserted by a health care provider within 120 hours (five days) of having unprotected sex, it reduces your risk of pregnancy at the moment, and in the future. "It is more effective than any of the pill options at any weight,” says Dr. Duran.
As Jess O’Reilly, Ph.D. and host of the Drive Him Wild With Pleasure video course previously explained to Elite Daily, "... [the copper IUD] is inserted by a medical practitioner into the uterus and the copper changes the way the sperm cells move to reduce the likelihood of their making it to the egg." Unlike an oral emergency contraceptive, the copper IUD works by triggering your immune system to prevent pregnancy. And according to Planned Parenthood, it's the most effective form of birth control available and can be used for up to 12 years.
Don’t be afraid to take charge of your reproductive health. If you want to prevent birth control failure from happening again, talk to your doctor about getting on the pill, getting an IUD, and always carry condoms and keep them stashed in your nightstand. Because when your body and your future are in question, you have the power to decide what happens next.
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