Birth Control Experiences: Emergency Contraception

Questions and discussion about contraception, safer sex, STIs, sexual healthcare and other sexual health issues.
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Birth Control Experiences: Emergency Contraception

Unread postby Johanna » Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:38 pm

For those looking into the different methods of birth control to find what's right for them, here's one of several threads where users can report their experiences with a given method so that other users can get a more personal idea of what using a given method is like when they're looking into what might work best for them.

If you have used emergency contraception (Plan B), please report on it in the following format:

Pros: List what you have experienced as the pros or benefits -- the good parts -- of using this method.

Cons: List what you've experienced as the downsides or cons of using this method.

Ease of use: Talk about how easy -- or not -- it's been for you and/or your partner to use, access and afford this method, how it's worked out in your relationships, etc.

Effectiveness: Talk about how well this method has protected you from pregnancy, and if it ever has failed, note that, including any explanation of how or why, if you know or suspect how or why.

Feel free to also add any extra notes, hints or tips!

(Originally posted here by Heather.)
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Re: Birth Control Experiences: Emergency Contraception

Unread postby Redskies » Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:39 am

I've used levonorgestrel emergency contraception (the same stuff as Plan B) 4 times in my life.

Pros: Being able to do something to reduce the chance of becoming pregnant after some other error, or just knowing that I can if I need to: MASSIVE pro. I also got no side-effects whatsoever: I felt absolutely fine and my cycle continued exactly as I would've expected.

Cons: Bit tricky to access (especially at weekends) in places where it's more highly regulated, for example, where by law it's only available with a prescription from a medical professional. In places where you have to pay for it, it's the most expensive contraceptive method per use.

Ease of use: Actually using it was super-easy: just swallowing one small tablet. Acquiring it in the UK has been easy for me: went to see a doctor the same half-day I requested an appointment and got EC free on prescription (it's free even if you usually have to pay the prescription charge - contraception is exempt); went to a pharmacist and got it for free (free from pharmacists in Scotland, in some pharmacists in England/Wales, and for under-25s in some more pharmacists in England/Wales); went to a pharmacist and paid £26 for it as a just-in-case for-the-future dose that I can keep in my cupboard. A consultation with the pharmacist is required, but my experiences of those were immediate, private, respectful, informative and relevant. Outside of the UK, acquiring it was more hassle, as a prescription was required, and I had to travel to a clinic that was open weekends, had to wait ages, have a not-very-respectful, nearly medically useless and very information-incomplete "consultation" with a doctor and then go to a pharmacist to actually get the medication, and I had to pay for all that as it wasn't covered by any public health scheme or insurance. It was still a much-preferred option for me than a higher risk of unintended pregnancy.

Effectiveness: I've not become pregnant after using this method. When I've taken it, it's always been within 24 hours of a risk.
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Re: Birth Control Experiences: Emergency Contraception

Unread postby soft_masc » Mon Aug 25, 2014 4:53 pm

I've used emergency contraception - probably Plan B or another brand of the same medication, although I don't remember specifically - once, after a condom mishap.

Pros: Contraception you can use after a risk. That's awesome.

Cons: I understand that the sizable dose of hormones can mess up your menstrual and cause other side effects too, but I seriously had none at all.

Ease of use: It was super straightforward for me. This is specific to my region, but I didn't need a prescription or ID. I also didn't need to talk to a pharmacist, it was off the shelf. It was expensive, about $40, but between myself and my girlfriend we didn't have trouble affording it.

Effectiveness: It probably did its job just fine. I took it exactly as directed within half an hour of the risk. I didn't get pregnant, although it's totally possible that the condom mishap was minor enough that the condom was effective and the ECP didn't add anything.

My advice here, after re reading this, appears to be to live in Ontario and have disposable income, which I realize is not super helpful. The side effects don't have to be scary though!

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