S.O.S – Last Second Contraception

Despite good contraceptive methods and good education in school, small “accidents” can happen the first time. Sex is something beautiful and can be a lot of fun. However, if something doesn’t go as planned, you can sometimes get really scared.

So that you don’t get into the situation where a condom breaks or you forget your pill, we have put together some tips for you. Read them carefully so that you can approach your time together in a relaxed manner.

Tips For Avoiding Such Situations

Basically, you should follow our tips, which you can find in the article “20 Facts about Contraception with Condoms”.

You can also refer to the following checklist.

  • Condom put on the wrong way? Make sure you get a new one and try again!
  • Forgotten a pill? Read the package insert. It tells you exactly what to do in your case.
  • No idea about condoms? Ask someone with experience in this area to show you how to use and unroll the condom correctly.
  • Your boyfriend thinks that contraception is unnecessary? Don’t get involved. It’s about your own future and your body. You decide whether you want to get pregnant or not. Accordingly, you should choose a contraceptive of your choice.
  • Your boyfriend doesn’t want to use condoms? For some guys, the “rubbers” are a bit uncomfortable. However, this is also because they are not used to them. Maybe you can persuade him to just try it out with a rubber. Otherwise, you should make it clear to him that he has to do without sex. This is because rubbers are not only essential for contraception, but also for protection against dangerous diseases.
  • You don’t want to use contraception or don’t know how? Then we recommend that you talk to your local youth counseling center or make an appointment with your trusted gynecologist. There you can get valuable information about contraceptive methods. You’re sure to find a method you’re comfortable with. Because sooner or later you will have to make a decision, if you don’t want to risk pregnancy!
  • A long night of partying and a lot of alcohol have left their mark and your memories are not very clear anymore? If you suspect that you had unprotected sex that night, you’d better take the morning-after pill or find out about the IUD.
  • You were raped and don’t know what to do? Make sure you contact the telephone helpline, go directly to the police or to a youth counseling center in your area. Basically, you can get all the information you need by calling one of the following telephone numbers: 147 (Switzerland, Austria), as well as 0800/1110111 or 0800/1110222 (Germany). In addition, you should consider the morning-after pill or the IUD. Make an appointment with your gynecologist as soon as possible or get the morning-after pill over-the-counter from the pharmacy.
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If It Does Happen: Emergency Contraception

Emergency contraceptives are not contraceptives in the true sense of the word. That’s why they are only intended as an exceptional solution.

A little helper in an emergency: the morning-after pill.

The “morning-after pill” is available over the counter at any pharmacy in most countries. However, this fun is not quite cheap. It can cost up to €36. For this reason, and because it is a real “hormone bomb”, you should not take the morning-after pill.

It is not as effective as most other contraceptives. With the active ingredient levonorgestrel, it suppresses ovulation or delays it. This can prevent the fertilization of the egg. However, in order to be effective, some conditions must be met, which are:

  • The little mishap happened before ovulation. If ovulation has already occurred and the egg has already been fertilized, even the morning-after pill will not help.
  • Therefore, the emergency pill should be taken as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely you are to get pregnant. It is best to take it within 12 hours. Under no circumstances should it be taken later than 72 hours.
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In addition to the pill with levonorgestrel, there is also the pill with ulipristal acetate. This unpronounceable substance is still effective up to 120 hours (that’s 5 days) after sex.

However, it does not help if there is already a pregnancy. Because the morning-after pill is not an abortion!

If the morning-after pill is taken within the first 12 hours after sex, pregnancy can be prevented by 97% to 99%. Then the reliability starts to decrease.

Normally, the usual menstrual bleeding occurs after taking the pill. This may be delayed a little. However, if menstruation is delayed more than five days, a pregnancy test or a visit to the gynecologist is advisable.

The morning-after pill is used when it makes sense:

  • no contraception has been used at all.
  • there have been errors in the use of the contraceptive (condom torn or slipped off, pill forgotten, three-month injection not refreshed in time, diaphragm slipped, etc.)
  • you have been the victim of rape.
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Basically, it is recommended to make an appointment with a gynecologist after taking the pill.

The morning-after pill can have strong side effects. Most of the time, however, they are not dangerous. The most common side effects are: nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, irregular menstruation, dizziness and headaches.

No Easy Task: The “Morning-After” Pill

If you do not want to take the morning-after pill or are not allowed to do so due to health circumstances, you have another option. Unwanted pregnancies can also be avoided by inserting a copper IUD after you have had unprotected intercourse. In contrast to the morning-after pill, however, the IUD involves a little more effort. In addition, the insertion can sometimes be somewhat painful.

The advantage of this is that in the future you are protected by the effect of the copper IUD and no longer so easily get into the situation of having to use an emergency contraceptive.

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The IUD afterwards prevents the implantation of the egg in the uterus. This is due to the copper ions that it secretes. This influences the environment in the uterus in such a way that fertilized eggs no longer “feel comfortable” there.

You can find more detailed information about the copper IUD itself in our article “Alternatives to the Pill and Co.: Hormone-free contraceptives”.

Like the morning-after pill, the IUD is useful in cases of lack of contraception, incorrect use of contraceptives, and after rape.

Because the IUD is also a medicine, it can have side effects. You can discuss this with your gynecologist.

Worksheet For The Text

Answer the following questions using the text:

1) Which tips from our emergency prevention checklist could you remember? Write them down here.

2) Why are condoms important for more than just preventing pregnancy?

3) What measures are there to prevent pregnancy if you did not use contraception during sex?

Photo: Voy / bigstockphoto.com

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