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Heather Corinna replies:
I had sex with a girl a week ago. She didn't say anything about contraceptives. After we had sex she said she wasn't on birth control. I asked her why she naver said anything? Anyhow I heard of a guy a few years ago who had the same problem. He took a bottle full of coke and turned her bottom up and poured the bottle into her vagina. I told her about this. She was willing to try it. So we did the deed. Is this a safe practice? If she misses her period would it be safe to learn how to use a coat hanger? It would be sterile. Is there somewhere you can learn to perform an abortion with a wire?
It has NEVER been safe to try and terminate a pregnancy with a wire hanger, for crying out loud.
PLEASE hear that.
Abortions with wire hangers are remnants of the horror stories -- true ones, sadly -- from the days when abortion was illegal. Many women had to have backalley abortions at high cost, often from people who knew full well they were putting those women's lives at risk, and were taking advantage of women's desperation in order to make a big chunk of change. Many of those women were terribly injured -- rendered infertile, for instance, or given perforated uteruses or terrible infections -- and many died from these types of ignorant, uninformed attempts. And none of that is addressing the kind of incredible pain it did and would cause a woman to have ANY sharp object -- even something sterile, under a qualified person's care -- inserted into her cervix without bonafide anaesthetics.
It is absolutely not safe or okay, under any condition, for you, as a layman, to ever insert ANY sharp objects -- no matter how convinced you are you can sterilize them -- into a woman's vagina or cervix. EVER. It is not simply a matter of an object being sterile, if it even were possible to sterilize a hanger (which it is not). It is also not safe for you to try and self-terminate someone's pregnancy, with any object, of any kind. Would you stick a coat hanger into your urethra (the opening of your penis) and jiggle it around and feel like that was a safe thing to do? I'm relatively certain you wouldn't -- you certainly shouldn't -- and the same goes for a woman's vagina and cervix. Safe abortion procedures are not crude: they're pretty sophisticated, and also involve medical supervision for a reason.
I'm hoping that what I have said is enough to convince you not to do this or talk this girl into letting you try, but in the case it is not, know that if you did do such a thing to her, even with her permission, you would be committing a crime, of either assault or homicide, depending on the result.
Coca-cola is also not a contraceptive. It is certainly not as dangerous as inserting sharp objects into a woman, but it will have no effect whatsoever in preventing or terminating pregnancy, and it also will tend to incline a woman towards winding up with a yeast infection. As well, I'd hope you'd recognize that it's pretty unpleasant, even traumatic, to have someone shoving coke bottles in your genitals.
She didn't say anything about birth control or safer sex. That's truly unfortunate. But you were there, participating, too, and neither did you. BOTH of you made an error here because both of you were responsible. Why didn't she say something? Well, why didn't YOU say something? Likely she didn't say something for similar reasons that you didn't, or because she didn't feel that she was being a given a real choice. If we're with a partner who doesn't seem to be able to speak up at all, it's a pretty good sign that that partner isn't 100% interested in or consenting to have sex, and that all by itself presents a need to stop whatever we are doing.
For future reference, never assume. Before any kind of sex, someone needs to initiate a conversation about safer sex, and if you've an opposite-sex partner, about birth control. It doesn't matter who initiates it, but when clothes are starting to come off -- and preferably before -- if your partner hasn't brought it up, then you need to. if you feel you can't, then it's time to step away from the sex until you can. BOTH partners bear responsibility here, not just the female partner who is at the greatest risks.
As well, for future reference, pregnancy isn't the only risk here: so are STIs, and often, the risk of those is statistically greater than a pregnancy. Many are curable or treatable, but with some, you're going to have the same type of lifelong consequences you'd have with a pregnancy. So, if you don't keep condoms with you on dates, it's time to start.
Lastly, know that in the case your condom slips off or breaks, or as was the case this time, both partners make a foolish choice and go unprotected, emergency contraception is the right thing to get, not a bottle of soda. That can't do anything about STI risks after the fact, but it can prevent pregnancy after the fact. It's been too long for that now, but in the future,it can be used up to 120 hours after the risk. It's safe, it's often relatively easy to obtain, fairly inexpensive (certainly far, far less so than abortion or pregnancy, delivery and parenting) and it also works exceptionally well.
For now, all you can both do is the following:
1) Schedule a full STI screen for around a month from now.
2) Wait for her period. If it does not arrive when she expects it, then she can take a home pregnancy test. If it's positive, and she wants to terminate her pregnancy, then she will need to talk to an abortion and/or sexual health clinic (such as Planned Parenthood) about medical or surgical abortion. If she decides to do that, you will split the bill.
Please also know that if money is an issue should an abortion be needed and wanted by her, that there is no reason to look towards endangering her health and life to self-abort. There are national funds to help those who are in real need of financial help to pay for abortion services, a list of which (should she be in the U.S.) can be found here. But, too, that's a decision that will be up to her to make should she become pregnant, and one she will want to make for herself: that's not your choice, it's hers. The reproductive choice YOU get to make as a male partner is to choose to do all you can to prevent a pregnancy or children you don't want by either using condoms or by abstaining from sex with risks of pregnancy.
Here is some more information for you, so that from here on out, you can make smarter choices: