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If you had unprotected sex last night, there must be several questions knocking on your mind. You are not only exposed to STD but also have chances to conceive.  The question is how to avoid pregnancy?

Emergency contraception is a reliable way to keep your femininity safe.

What is emergency contraception?

Emergency contraception, also known as the morning-after pill or post-coital contraception, prevents you from conceiving after sexual intercourse. It is a high dose of the same hormones used in oral contraceptive pills to prevent an egg from ripening and releasing during ovulation. Effects of the morning after pill are proven for emergency contraception. 

Here are the steps you must initiate to avoid any unpleasant experience after an unprotected sexual event:

Immediately after the sexual intercourse

If you notice that while having sexual intercourse, the condom is broken, move away from your partner at the earliest and stop the sexual activity.

If you are having intercourse without any protection, use the bathroom immediately. Remove the fluids from your anus, vagina, or penis.

It prevents any urinary tract infections (UTIs) by removing bacteria from your private parts. You should sit out on the toilet and push your anus muscles or genitals to push out any remaining fluids.

If you have penis-in-vagina sex, peeing will not help you much in removing the fluids from your vagina. It poses a risk of unwanted pregnancy. The reason is that the sperm has already traveled towards the egg.

Douching or Washing your private parts

Douching your genitals poses a threat of vaginal infection. Washing your genitals can give you comfort, but it is not required to cleanse your genitals after sexual activity.

Douching products leads to inflammation or irritation. You can splash lukewarm water, or a simple shower can help. 

Check yourself

Assess your inner feelings. You may encounter a wide range of emotions such as anxiety, anger, thrill, excitement, etc. Feel free to speak to your family or friends to seek some support.

Work out your next steps

Once you feel fine, the next step is to think about how to proceed further. Emergency contraception (EC) is a reliable way to escape the unwanted effects of the unprotected sexual act.

Book an appointment with a sexual health clinic for a check-up. If you think you might be exposed to sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Contracting STI is only possible when you have penetrative or oral sex with someone. 

Keep a check on your symptoms

Itchiness, pain while urinating, smelly discharge, or sores are the indicators of STI, which one should keep a note of. There might be STIs that are symptomless. If you notice anything unusual, schedule an STI test immediately.

How to prevent pregnancy with emergency contraceptives?

Emergency contraceptives are recommended to take within 72 hours of sexual intercourse without any protection. Preventive medication for HIV is also recommended within the same timeline. 

Two types of emergency contraception are available:

Emergency contraceptive pills: Emergency contraceptive pills (ECP) stop unwanted pregnancy by delaying the release of eggs from ovaries. 

Copper intrauterine device (IUD) is an effective emergency contraceptive option that can be inserted up to 120 hours after sexual intercourse. 

The morning after pills are available in 2 types and can be taken safely as soon as after unprotected intercourse:

The morning after pills that can be taken within three days of the sexual event are available over-the-counter. It does not require any prescription at the medical stores. 

A new type of morning-after pill is available on the market that can be taken within 5 days of the sexual event. These pills are difficult to obtain as it is short of supply in Australia. It can also be obtained from medical stores without any prescription.

Emergency contraceptive pills are effective only for up to 3-5 days of sexual contraceptive pills. The effectiveness of these pills decreases after the first 24 hours.

How does the morning-after pill work?

The morning after pills delays the release of eggs from ovaries to prevent pregnancy. Emergency contraceptive pills do not work like absorption pills. Moreover, these pills are not effective against sexually transmitted diseases. Also, they do not provide ongoing contraception.

How effective is the morning after pill?

Depending on the stage of your menstrual cycle and the time of sexual intercourse, the effectiveness of morning-after pills varies. In some cases, it might not be able to prevent pregnancy at all.

What are the other ways to stop the pregnancy?

In the non-use of contraceptive pills, there are high chances for sexually active women to become pregnant. Here are some of the effective ways of stopping pregnancy:

Diaphragm: This is a curved rubber cup that fits your vagina and blocks sperm from entering the uterus. Diaphragm comes with 90% efficacy when used along with CDC estimates. 

You need to insert the diaphragm a few hours before the sexual intercourse and leave it for the same time after the event. 

Cervical Cpa: it is a soft silicone cup placed inside the vagina to cover the cervix. It does not let the sperm reach an egg and thus prevent pregnancy.

Spermicide: it is a chemical to inactivate sperms and is often used as barrier contraception. It would help if you had a prescription from a medical practitioner to buy spermicide. 

How is the morning after pill different from the abortion pill?

Emergency contraceptives do not cause any abortion. While some people believe that it functions like an induced abortion process, but that is not true. If you have unprotected sex and take the emergency contraceptive pill, there is a high chance of becoming pregnant.

Do not think about going for an abortion as it will only help to harm your body. To avoid pregnancy, visit the urgent gynecological clinic for a contraception counseling session. After that, you can schedule appointments at the medical center nearest

Conclusion

Emergency contraception is not an abortion. It does not terminate the pregnancy. Rather it prevents the egg from implanting in the uterus. These pills are available over-the-counter for women aged above 18 years. The emergency contraceptive pills can be taken up to five days after unprotected intercourse. 

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