Sarah is alone with a guy she really likes. She feels very unsure about having sex with him but it’s hard to say so. So she just tells him she doesn’t want to risk getting pregnant. He says it’s ok because she can get emergency contraception from the chemist the next day. Sarah feels trapped into going ahead and having sex.
Kelly has got into a pattern of often sleeping with different guys, mainly because she feels lonely and unhappy about things in her life and she feels the need to get close to someone. She worries about getting pregnant so she has used emergency contraception quite a few times. Sometimes Kelly wonders how it might be affecting her body long term.
Krista took emergency contraception after sleeping with her boyfriend but she is pregnant anyway. Now she is scared the drugs she took have damaged her baby. Krista doesn’t want to have an abortion but she feels pressured into it.
Tori has had an ectopic pregnancy – a pregnancy that has developed in the fallopian tube – because of using emergency contraception. The loss of her fallopian tube means her chances of ever having a baby are now much less.
What exactly is emergency contraception?
How does it work?
Is it effective?
Disadvantages, cautions and possible side effects
Emergency Contraception - does it solve problems or cause them?
It’s a drug similar to, but much stronger than, the contraceptive pill. It is designed to prevent or interrupt a pregnancy if taken within 72 hours (3 days) of unprotected sexual intercourse, preferably within 24 hours following unprotected sex. It is now available without prescription from chemists.
The dosage is two tablets given 12 hours apart.
It is thought to work in a number of different ways -
Over-the-counter purchase at the chemist reduces the opportunity for private discussion about the side effects and a girl’s medical history. It’s difficult to have a discussion like that in a crowded shop. It’s likely important health information will be overlooked.
A girl may not even be aware of her own conflicting health issues, such as anemia.
A girl’s anxiety is not reduced as she must still wait until a pregnancy test can be done.
The side effects of the drug can mimic symptoms of pregnancy, adding to anxiety.
If the girl discovers she is pregnant after using emergency contraception she may fear damage to the embryo and feel pressured into an abortion decision.
Regular use of emergency contraception may increase health risks including ectopic pregnancy (development of pregnancy in fallopian tube instead of uterus).
“I can’t be pregnant!”
Emergency contraception may seem like the answer in an emergency, but there are definitely things each girl in this situation needs to think about -
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Need to talk?
if you are trying to make a choice and finding it difficult…
if you feel you may be at risk…
if you are affected by an abortion…
if you are having relationship difficulties...
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