IUDs for the Morning After
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While IUDs are the most common form of birth control worldwide, few women know that they can also be used to prevent pregancy after unprotected sex.
Transcript: Youre heard of the morning-after-pill and probably heard that its not fool-proof at preventing pregnancy....
Youre heard of the morning-after-pill and probably heard that its not fool-proof at preventing pregnancy. But another method is! If youve had sex without protection and need to be certain that you wont have to live with an unintended pregnancy, you may consider having a doctor insert an intra-uterine device, or IUD, into your uterus. This method is literally 99.9 percent effective when the IUD is inserted within 5 days after unprotected sex. An IUD is a T-shaped, plastic device that can be put into the uterus to prevent a pregnancy. ParaGard the type used for this purpose can prevent a pregnancy by encouraging the body to release leukocytes and prostaglandins, substances hostile to both sperm and eggs. The device can also stop an egg that has already been fertilized from implanting into the uterus. This type of IUD can stay in place and remain effective as birth control for 12 years, or it can be removed after the next menstrual period. A final note about IUDs: They are not recommended for women at a high risk for STDs following their sexual encounter. If this is you, talk to your doctor about other options.More »
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Medical abortions can be difficult to go through, but they are effective in terminating an unwanted pregnancy. Learn more about abortions in this informative video.
Transcript: The decision to end a pregnancy can be a difficult one. Some people find that having an abortion at...
The decision to end a pregnancy can be a difficult one. Some people find that having an abortion at home may make things easier. A woman who is more than nine weeks pregnant must surgically terminate a pregnancy, which is more common than a medication induced abortion. But prior to week nine, a medication induced termination-where a woman takes medication which will cause her pregnancy to cease-is an option.Generally, a woman takes the medication which actually causes the pregnancy to terminate in her doctor's office. Then, after she goes home, she inserts a different medication into her vagina which softens her cervix and causes it to contract and empty. This results in heavy bleeding and tissue discharge, which is the abortion. A woman who has a medication termination often experiences painful cramping and may feel nauseous. For this reason, doctors will often prescribe a pain killer, as well. Medication abortions are 96 percent effective, so you must return to the doctor for a follow-up visit to ensure that the pregnancy has been terminated. That's because any remaining tissue can make a future pregnancy impossible.Post-termination, you may experience a wide range of confusing emotions-so take advantage of the counseling referrals offered by most clinics.More »
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Surgical abortions are effective in terminating pregnancy 99 percent of the time. To know more check out our video.
Transcript: Surgical abortions are effective at terminating pregnancy 99 percent of the time. If you are considering...
Surgical abortions are effective at terminating pregnancy 99 percent of the time. If you are considering an abortion, you may find the following information helpful. A vacuum aspiration, the most common surgical abortion, can be performed anytime during the first twenty weeks of pregnancy. This procedure takes about thirty minutes and is generally performed under local anesthesia. During the abortion, the cervix is stretched open using dilators or prescription medication, and a flexible tube is inserted into the uterus. Then, a hand-held suction device or a suction machine gently empties the contents of the uterus. After a surgical abortion, many women experience strong cramping or bleeding and may pass blood clots from the vagina. For this reason, a doctor may prescribe a pain killer post-abortion. Having an abortion can be very difficult. Afterwards, many women experience strong emotions ranging from relief to regret. If you are considering a surgical abortion, or you are recovering from one, you are not alone! Talk to your doctor about local counseling or support groups.More »
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Emergency contraception may prevent unwanted pregnancy if used correctly, but can affect your menstual cycle. Check out this video to find out more about emergency contraception and your period.
Transcript: Emergency contraception is commonly known as the morning after pill, and can be taken on the occasions...
Emergency contraception is commonly known as the morning after pill, and can be taken on the occasions when your standard birth control choice fails - or you fail to choose it! It may prevent an unwanted pregnancy. It may contain the hormone progestin or a medication called ulipristal acetate. If used within 72 hours of unprotected sex, around 80% of the time the pills prevent ovulation and implantation of a fertilized egg - although the chances that an egg will be fertilized at all are exceedingly small. Studies reveal widely divergent rates of effectiveness, but in general the antiprogestin ulipristal acetate proves most effective. Whichever form you choose, it could affect your menstrual cycle. Some women experience breakthrough bleeding for a day or two after they take the morning after pill and BEFORE their period arrives, usually in the first 7 days. The spotting DOESN'T mean that you're not pregnant. You won't know THAT until your period arrives. If spotting becomes heavy AND is accompanied by severe abdominal pain, lightheadedness and dizziness, you should see your doctor as soon as possible, as these symptoms may be signs of an ectopic pregnancy. If you took a morning after pill, your period may come a week EARLY or a week LATE. Some studies have shown that the arrival of your period is related to the point in your cycle at which you took the pill. One study showed that the earlier in your cycle you take the pill, the earlier your period will be. But it's different for everyone. Another form of emergency contraception that is approved by the FDA is the ParaGuard copper IUD. Inserted within 72 hours, the manufacturer says it is more than 75% effective-with some studies reporting virtually 100% success. With the IUD, you may experience spotting and a heavier period for up to 3 months, but that fades as your body adjusts to it. It can be left in for several years and unlike morning after pills can be used as ongoing contraception. You SHOULD get your period within a month of having the IUD put in by a doctor. When your period arrives, you will know for sure that the pill or the IUD worked. Some women experience a SHORTER, spottier period, though others have longer and heavier ones. Emergency contraception is highly effective, but if your period is MORE than 7 days late, you should take a pregnancy test. Learn more about menstruation by watching other videos in this series!More »
Last Modified: 2012-12-27 | Tags »
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If you forget to use a condom, then the morning after pill can help. These pills contain hormones that help prevent pregnancy. To know more, watch our video.
Transcript: Forget to use a condom last night? The morning-after-pill offers protection against pregnancy today....
Forget to use a condom last night? The morning-after-pill offers protection against pregnancy today. Emergency contraception, or EC, is a pill that contains hormones which can help stop a pregnancy from occurring. Many people believe that EC causes an early abortion, but that's not the case. Actually, the medication prevents or delays the ovaries from releasing an egg, or stops a previously released egg from being fertilized. These are the same ways in which other hormonal birth controls prevent pregnancy. Emergency contraception is most effective when taken within 72 hours from the time of intercourse. However, about half the women who take it experience nausea and vomiting due to EC's high concentration of hormones. If you're looking for EC, one form-called Plan-B- is available over-the-counter for women over 18. Other brands require a doctor's prescription. Know that, at best, EC drugs are only 89 percent effective...so ensure that it truly is a "Plan B" for you!More »
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If you're a woman who can't take estrogen but is looking for the right oral contraceptive, taking the mini pill may just be for you. Check out this video for more information.
Transcript: There are more than 40 types of the birth control Pill available in the United States! How do you pick...
There are more than 40 types of the birth control Pill available in the United States! How do you pick one? Although all oral contraceptives help prevent pregnancy, every form is a bit different. One brand, the progestin-only Pill, is often referred to as the "mini pill." The mini pill is between 90 and 98 percent effective, slightly less than other forms of oral contraceptives. The mini pill gets its name because, unlike other forms of oral contraceptives, it does not contain estrogen. The mini pill works by thickening a woman's cervical mucus, making it very hard for sperm to enter her uterus. This is convenient for women who cannot take estrogen, or who react poorly to strong doses of hormones. But because the mini pill has fewer hormones, it must be taken at the exact same time each day, which can be hard to remember for some. Another disadvantage of the mini pill is that some women experience breakthrough bleeding between periods. If you're not sure about the mini pill, check out our other videos to learn about additional forms of oral contraception!More »
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Are you looking for the best contraceptive? Picking the Monophasic Pill may be the right decision. Watch this video to learn more about oral contraceptives and their benefits.
Transcript: Oral contraceptives are the most popular method of non-permanent birth control in the United States....
Oral contraceptives are the most popular method of non-permanent birth control in the United States. No wonder there are so many to choose from! Orthro Cept and Alesse are examples of a form of oral contraceptives called the "monophasic" pill. This birth control is over 99 percent effective when used correctly. A woman on a monophasic pill takes 28 pills during each cycle. Twenty-one of these are "active" and contain an equal amount of two synthetic hormones, estrogen and progestin. The remaining seven tablets in a packet are placebos. During the time a woman takes these, she does not receive hormones and usually gets her period as a result. One newer form of monophasic pill, called Seasonale, allows a woman to go three months without her period. It does so by containing 84 active pills, followed by one week of placebos. The steady dosage of estrogen and progestin in all monophasic pills may produce fewer side effects, like breakthrough bleeding, than other Pills. For some women, the high dose of hormones can prove too much. If you're not sold on monophasic tablets, check out our other videos on picking your Pill!More »
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Millions of women use the pill to prevent pregnancy. Watch this video to learn more about the pill at work.
Transcript: Eighteen million women worldwide pop a Pill once a day to avoid pregnancy! How do they work? Oral contraceptives...
Eighteen million women worldwide pop a Pill once a day to avoid pregnancy! How do they work? Oral contraceptives generally all work in the same manner: They prevent a woman from ovulating, or releasing an egg, each month. The Pill is over 99 percent effective if used correctly! At the beginning of a woman's menstrual cycle, levels of the hormone estrogen rise for about 14 days, which is when they peak. At this point, the body's ovaries react to the high estrogen level by releasing an egg to be fertilized. After ovulation has occurred, another hormone, called progestin, begins to increase, preparing the uterus to allow a fertilized egg to implant. Oral contraceptives contain synthetic versions of both the hormones progestin and estrogen. They prevent ovulation from occurring by keeping hormone levels from fluctuating. That means that excess estrogen isn't made to release an egg and excess progestin doesn't cause the uterus to prep for a fertilized egg to implant.More »
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If you find condoms uncomfortable, there's an easy way to solve this issue. Check out this video to learn more about making condoms comfortable.
Transcript: Condoms are the only form of contraception that prevent unwanted pregnancy AND protect against STDs,...
Condoms are the only form of contraception that prevent unwanted pregnancy AND protect against STDs, so using them makes sense. Make a condom more comfortable for both of you by loving the lubricant! Coat both the inside and outside of the condom with lube before putting it on. Use a water-based brand, like Astroglide, or a silicone-based type, like Eros, both of which will increase sensitivity. Never use an oil-based lubricant, like petroleum jelly, as this can break the condomand THAT can make babies. Is he well-endowed? On the short side? Condoms come in various sizes and there IS a brand that will work for him. Is a condom not her favorite feeling? Ribbed brands will increase sensation two-fold! Getting comfortable with condoms is vital to the safestyet sexiestintercourse!More »
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Tired of taking the pill? Behavioral birth control may be just the thing for you. Learn about the pros and cons of this method by watching this video.
Transcript: Behavioral methods of birth control rely on couples adjusting their sexual practices to reduce the chances...
Behavioral methods of birth control rely on couples adjusting their sexual practices to reduce the chances of an unplanned pregnancy. These methods are advantageous in that they are free and require no prescription. Withdrawal is a method of birth control whereby a man pulls his penis out of the vagina before ejaculation. This can prevent pregnancy by keeping a sperm from meeting the egg. Unfortunately, 30 percent of people who rely on the withdrawal method conceive anyway. This is because even pre-ejaculate can cause a pregnancy. It also takes a LOT of self-control for a man to pull out at the height of pleasure, particularly if he is prone to premature ejaculation. Some couples rely on behavioral "fertility awareness methods," or FAMs. These depend on a woman tuning in to her body's ovulation cycles and refraining from sex on days when she is likely to release an egg. Before a couple can use FAMs, they must understand that a man's sperm can live in a woman's body for five or six days. A woman's egg, meanwhile, survives for one day after release. There are several ways to determine if a woman is ovulating, one of which is called the temperature method. A woman's body temperature rises minutely-between 0.4 to 0.8 degrees-on the day she ovulates, and remains elevated until her period. A couple is less likely to conceive between three days after the temperature rise to the day it falls again. A woman's body temperature rises minutely-between 0.4 to 0.8 degrees-on the day she ovulates, and remains elevated until her period. A couple is less likely to conceive between three days after the temperature rise to the day it falls again. Other couples use the calendar method, where the woman charts her menstrual cycles and abstains from sex on the days she's likely to be fertile...usually the five days prior to, day of, and day after, ovulation. Other FAMs include the standard days method, whereby a woman uses a special string of beads to chart ovulation, and the mucous method, where she monitors vaginal discharge to determine when conception is likely. While each of these FAMs can work, they are only about eighty percent effective, assuming the methods are followed strictly. Human error and other common factors can contribute to the failure rate. This is because ovulation can be altered by even slight stressors, like illness or diet alterations. In addition, most women don't ovulate at the same time every month, and charting fertility patterns consistently requires much dedication! Because behavioral methods other than abstinence have such a high margin of error, they are NOT recommended as primary means of birth control. In addition, none of the behavioral birth control methods (with the exception of abstinence), offer ANY protection against another common result of intercourse: sexually transmitted diseases. Intercourse can easily result in conception, so couples who don't wish to have a child should use birth control when being intimate. Talk to your doctor about the method that's best for YOU.More »
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Many people who have sex choose to use over the counter birth control. Learn more about non prescription birth control in this video.
Transcript: Millions of people who choose to engage in sex use over-the-counter, or OTC, methods of birth control,...
Millions of people who choose to engage in sex use over-the-counter, or OTC, methods of birth control, including male and female condoms, the sponge, and spermicides. Over-the-counter methods are appealing because they are available without a prescription, are inexpensive, and don't alter a woman's hormones. The most commonly used method of birth control is the male condom. A condom is a latex or plastic sheath that is worn on the penis to collect semen. If used perfectly EVERY TIME, condoms are 98 percent effective against pregnancy, but with typical use, they are about 85 percent effective. In addition, condoms are most effective when used with a separately applied vaginal spermicide. To put on a condom, unroll it over an erect penis to the base, leaving about a half- inch of space in the tip for semen. The female condom is another OTC method, effective 95 percent of the time when used perfectly, or 80 percent effective with typical use. It offers some protection against STDs and is a good alternative for people who are allergic to latex. The female condom is a plastic pouch with rings at both ends. It is inserted into the vagina to cover the cervix and prevent sperm from entering the uterus. To use it, insert the closed ring into the vagina like a tampon. Let the outer ring hang an inch outside the vagina. While using a lubricant can make both the male and female condom more comfortable, NEVER use an oil-based brand with latex, as this can cause breakage. Condoms are more effective when combined with another method of birth control, like spermicides. Although spermicides can be used alone, they only reduce pregnancy by 85 percent, and are ineffective at protecting against STDs. Spermicides, which are available in cream, foam, jelly, and suppository form, block the entrance to the uterus and immobilize sperm. Although each preparation is a bit different, a spermicide should generally be inserted into the vagina about ten minutes before intercourse. Spermicide should be reapplied before each additional sexual encounter. Another birth control method that utilizes spermicide is the soft, plastic female sponge. The sponge covers the cervix to block sperm, and generally reduces pregnancy risk by 70 to 90 percent depending on a woman's conception history and accuracy of use. The sponge continuously releases a spermicide. The sponge can be inserted up to 24 hours before intercourse and must remain in place for at least six hours afterward. Before inserting the sponge, activate the spermicide by moistening it with water and squeezing gently. Then, fold the sponge upward from the loop at the bottom and slide it deeply into the vagina. While each of these OTC methods offers protection against pregnancy, none of them are 100 percent effective, and only condoms offer any protection against STDs. Sex is fun, but it does come with risks. Remember to talk to your doctor AND your partner about the birth control method that is right for you, and to use it correctly every time!More »
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Permanent birth control is more common than you'd think. Click here to watch this video and find out more about these birth control methods.
Transcript: Non-reversible birth control, or sterilization, is the most popular method of preventing conception in...
Non-reversible birth control, or sterilization, is the most popular method of preventing conception in the United States, perhaps because it does NOT affect a couple's sex life. The female procedure is called tubal sterilization and the male operation is called a vasectomy. No matter which procedure a couple chooses, they must know that their decision is PERMANENT and does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. Vasectomy is more common than tubal sterilization and the procedure is nearly 100 percent effective. A man's reproductive cells, called sperm, are made in the testes. They then pass through two tubes, called the vas deferens, and mix with other fluids to form semen, which exits the penis during ejaculation. A vasectomy works by blocking both vas deferens tubes, therefore preventing sperm from entering the semen. Usually, a vasectomy takes place in a doctor's office under local anesthesia. An incision is made on each side of the scrotum. Then, a doctor will either tie the vas deferens, block them with clips, or cauterize them with heat, cold, or electrical currents. Also available is a "no-incision" procedure, which involves making a small puncture in the scrotum to reach the tubes. The cost for a vasectomy varies from 400 to 1,000 U.S. dollars. After a vasectomy, sperm remain in the body for about three months. Until a semen analysis shows an absence of sperm, a couple MUST use additional birth control as conception is still possible during this time of sperm clearing. A tubal sterilization is equally as effective, but is more invasive and costs more than a vasectomy...In the United States, up to $6,000. Therefore, it's generally advised that a mutually monogamous couple undergo a vasectomy over a tubal ligation. During tubal sterilization, a woman's fallopian tubes are closed. Because these tubes are where egg meets sperm, this makes pregnancy impossible. All tubal sterilizations involve an incision and are performed in an outpatient hospital setting under general anesthesia. Interestingly, as a non-contraceptive side benefit, a tubal ligation has been associated with a reduction in the risk of ovarian cancer. Most commonly, a minimally invasive procedure involving a laparoscope is used for the tubal sterilization process. However, a mini-laparatomy can also be performed when necessary. Additionally, sterilization can be completed during a cesarean-section if so desired. While each procedure is a bit different, they all involve a surgeon making an incision in the abdomen. The tubes are either tied shut, fastened with clips, or cauterized. A method which does not involve an incision is called the Essure permanent birth control procedure. During this procedure, the cervix is numbed and a camera that provides a view of the uterus called a hysperscope, is inserted into the vagina. Two soft metallic coils are then placed at the opening of the fallopian tubes. The coils cause scar tissue to grow and block the tubes. This method must be followed by a radiologic test called an HSG, or hysterosalpingogram, to demonstrate that the tubes are definitively blocked and another form of birth control is no longer necessary. Permanent sterilization is just that-permanent. If you are considering this option, it's vital to weigh the pros and cons with your partner before undergoing these life-changing procedures!More »
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A diaphragm is an internal birth control device. It has proved to be a safe and effective way to prevent pregnancy. Learn more about diaphragms in this video.
Transcript: A woman can often avoid an unwanted pregnancy by inserting one of several prescription forms of birth...
A woman can often avoid an unwanted pregnancy by inserting one of several prescription forms of birth control, such as the diaphragm, the ring, or the implant. Women who use internal birth control appreciate that it is not felt by either partner, nor does insertion interfere with sex play. On the other hand these forms all require a doctors prescription to obtain and are initially more expensive than over-the-counter methods. The most common of these, the diaphragm, is a dome-shaped cup with a flexible rim made of latex or silicone. This barrier method is used with a spermicide cream or jelly. The diaphragm is inserted into the vagina and fits securely over the cervix. This blocks entry to the uterus, while the spermicide immobilizes wayward sperm. The diaphragm should be inspected under a light before insertion to be sure that no punctures have developed. Two hours or less before intercourse, squirt spermicide in the cup and spread the extra around the rim. Find a comfortable position and separate the vaginal labia. Fold the cup in half, then push the device back in the vagina. The front rim should be wedged behind the pubic bone and the cup should be covering the cervix entirely. Leave a diaphragm in place for six hours after intercourse. If properly cared for, a diaphragm can often be used for about two years. But because changes, such as weight gain, can alter the fit of the diaphragm, bring your device with you to every ob-gyn appointment. Both the contraceptive vaginal ring, called the NUVA-ring, and the progestin implant, called Implanon, are hormonal methods which protect against pregnancy by suppressing ovulation. For this reason, they are more than 99 percent effective with perfect use, compared to the diaphragms 94 percent. The implant, or Implanon, is a plastic device which is the size of a match. Once inserted, it begins releasing the hormone etonogestrel, a progestin, immediately. A doctor inserts Implanon into the arm after numbing the area with local anesthesia. It can be left in place and be effective for up to three years, or can be removed earlier if pregnancy is so desired. Women who use the implant may experience irregular bleeding, but some wind up not menstruating at all. The vaginal ring, on the other hand, contains estrogen and progesterone and encourages a normal 4-week cycle. NuvaRing is a small, flexible ring that is inserted into the vagina once a month. Its then left in place for three weeks, and taken out for one, during which time menstruation occurs. Insert the ring by pressing the sides together and sliding it gently into the vagina. Unlike with the diaphragm, exact placement is not crucial, since the ring releases hormones through the vaginal mucous. Because both the ring and the implant alter a womans hormones, some side effects, like irregular bleeding, weight gain, or breast tenderness may result. All of these methods are effective, but require more of a commitment than over-the-counter birth controland NONE of them protect against sexually transmitted diseases. If youre considering internal methods of birth control, talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of each before making a decision!More »
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