How to prevent pregnancy, what to do if you don't use protection and the first signs of pregnancy.
Different methods of birth control and their effectiveness
Anytime you don't use protection, there's a chance you could get pregnant. Here are some different percentages of effectiveness for different types of birth control (assuming they're all used correctly):
- Abstinence- 100% effect
- The pill- 99.7% effective
- Male condoms- 98% effective
- Withdrawl- 96% effective
- The shot- 99.7% effective
- Nuvaring- 99.7% effective
- The patch- 99.7% effective
- Diaphragm- 95% effective
- IUD- 99% effective
A way to guarantee that you won't get pregnant would be to abstain, or use a birth control thats 99%+ effective with a condom. Not only do condoms protect you from pregnancy, but they also protect you and your partner from STD's.
Each birth control has a different start time of effectiveness. The best thing to do before you start the birth control and stop using other forms of protection is to talk to your doctor about the rules you should follow with it to ensure protection. Your birth control shouldn't cause you any excessively bad side effects. Birth controls that are given to you by a doctor usually take 2-3 months to fully adjust and regulate in your body. During this time, you may have fatigue, headaches, nausea, irregular periods, and breast tenderness. If your birth control is effecting your life in a way where its hard for you to function throughout the day, then talk to your doctor about switching birth controls. It may take a few different brands/types until you find one thats right for you.
Some birth control pills are effective after a week, others take 3 weeks to a month to be fully effective. The birth control pill has to be taken everyday at around the same time to guarantee effectiveness.
Male condoms are very effective, but also come with a risk if you don't know how find the best one to suit you. Buying the correct size often poses issues for people who buy them. In order to make sure you buy the correct size, buy a few different packs with different size variations and try them on. Make sure the size you think fits you best is snug, as well as the fact that its on the right way (pointy edge outwards).
Though withdrawal SEEMS like an effective method, in reality many people don't use it properly. They usually pull out to late, or don't do it at all. If you don't plan on using condoms, my suggestion is that to at least use another form of birth control.
The Depo shot is very convenient, as well as very effective. You get the shot once every 3 months and it continues to be effective until your next shot.
Nuvaring is also very convenient because you only have to use it/replace it once every 3 weeks. You insert it by yourself, leave it in for 3 weeks, then near the 3rd week you remove it, and a few days later you start your period.
The patch is sort of like a sticker that you can put on a few different parts of your body. You replace it once a week for 3 weeks, then on the 4th week you don't replace it and you begin your period.
The diaphragm is a dome shaped cup with a flexible rim. You insert it in to the vagina, and if inserted correctly, it covers the cervix.
The IUD is typically recommended for women after they've had a baby because the cervix is more stretched out and it's more comfortable for the woman. The IUD is inserted by a doctor, and can be effective for up to 5 years.
What to do if you don't use your birth control, or your birth control fails
Get an emergency contraception. "Plan B"
and "Next Choice"
are the most common brands of emergency contraception. These forms of contraceptions are effective for up to 72 hours after your failure of birth control. You can get this emergency contraception at any pharmacy as long as you're 17, or someone over 17 buys it for you. They can range from $40-$60 on average. These forms of birth control are not to be used regularly, as they are a whole months hormones in one dose. The side effects of the emergency contraception are usually:
- Change in your period
This isn't to say that everyone will or won't get these side effects. My experience with Plan B was nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. If you plan on taking an emergency contraception, I suggest that you get some Dramamine and take it 45 minutes before you take the emergency contraception. It'll help with the nausea and the dizziness.
If you have taken an emergency contraception and haven't gotten your period in a month, then take a pregnancy test because there is a chance you may be pregnant.
The first signs of pregnancy
You may be pregnant if you've had unprotected sex, your birth control failed and you didn't use a back up, or you didn't use your birth control correctly. If you haven't gotten your period on schedule like you were supposed to or are more then 2 weeks straight, then you should take a pregnancy test. Some people don't experience symptoms until 7 or 8 weeks, while others notice their symptoms within the first month. Some of the first signs of pregnancy are as followed:
-Darkening of Aerolas
If you do end up being pregnant, then you have 3 choices:
3. Keeping it
Just keep in mind that the decision is yours, and only yours. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to PM me.