To prevent getting pregnant after having unprotected sex, here are some steps you can take:
1. Emergency Contraception (EC): Consider using emergency contraception, also known as the “morning-after pill.” Levonorgestrel emergency contraception pills (commonly available as Plan B or Postinor-2) are typically effective when taken within 72 hours (3 days) of unprotected sex. However, the effectiveness decreases over time, so taking it as soon as possible is advisable. In some cases, ulipristal acetate emergency contraception (such as Ella) may be available with a prescription and can be taken within 120 hours (5 days) of unprotected sex. It’s important to follow the instructions provided with the medication or consult a healthcare professional for guidance.
2. Copper Intrauterine Device (IUD): Consider getting a copper IUD inserted by a healthcare professional as an emergency contraception option. It can be effective up to five days after unprotected sex and can also serve as a long-term contraceptive method. Visit a healthcare facility or family planning clinic to discuss this option and get it inserted if desired.
3. Regular Contraception: If you’re not already using a regular form of contraception, it’s important to consider starting one to prevent future unintended pregnancies. There are various options available, such as birth control pills, injections, implants, hormonal or copper IUDs, barrier methods (e.g., condoms or diaphragms), fertility awareness methods, or permanent methods like tubal ligation or vasectomy. Consult a healthcare professional or visit a family planning clinic to discuss the most suitable contraceptive method for you.
Remember, these methods are intended for emergency situations and should not replace regular contraception. If you have concerns about pregnancy or need guidance on contraception, it’s recommended to consult a healthcare professional who can provide personalized advice based on your specific circumstances.