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Author Topic: Do I need to be worried?
Sweetly92
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Hello,
I'm a little freaked out and I was wondering if you guys could help me. I'm on the birth control pill zovia 1/35 and I take it before I go to bed everyday at around 10-12:30 at night, and my boyfriend and I use either the withdrawal method or condoms as a back up just in case. However, for some reason, my boyfriend didn't withdraw in time and some semen got in me. My other problem that I'm concerned with is the fact that I had two bouts of diarrhea the night before from a reaction I have to caffeine. This happened about 20 hours after I took my pill. I was wondering if I have anything to worry about since my boyfriend and I had a mishap? I'm trying to stay calm, but I'm just concerned. I called my pharmacist to ask for their opinion and they told me that my pill should have been well absorbed by then but i just wanted your take? I was going to get the morning after pill but I wasn't sure if I needed it. This happened yesterday morning and now I'm worried that I have a significant risk of becoming pregnant. Thanks in advance for your help.

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Onionpie
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If you only had loose stool for one day, it doesn't actually count as diarrhea -- diarrhea is defined as lasting a few days at least. And since this loose stool happened, from the sounds of it, long after your previous day's pill and before you took your pill that night, your birth control shouldn't be compromised at all.
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Sweetly92
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Thank you so much! does the Time range I've been taking my pill seem to be okay as we'll? And just out of curiosity, I was wondering what typical use of the withdrawal method meant?
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Onionpie
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No problem [Smile] And yep, as long as you're taking your pills within a 3 hour window, it counts as taking them exactly on time -- and it's not until after 12 hours that it's considered late.

Also, typical use of the withdrawal method means the results of people in the real world who self-reported as that being their primary means of contraception. So that includes people who don't really use the withdrawal method (or any other method) much, people who use it consistently, and also people who use it pretty well and consistently but might mess up a bit sometimes! So the percentage of typical use is found by adding the data from all of those various people together and then finding the average. Does that make sense?

[ 09-16-2012, 10:40 PM: Message edited by: Onionpie ]

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Sweetly92
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Oh ok that makes sense. Thanks! Do you think it would lessen my chances of becoming pregnant even more if I were to go and buy the morning after pill, or would that just complicate things more? I have a hard time trusting the pill alone, so I guess I just kind of feel like I'm not using protection when I really am. I don't know if that even makes sense. I guess there are a lot of women who trust the pill by itself so I shouldn't be so worried.
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Sweetly92
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Oh ok that makes sense. Thanks! Do you think it would lessen my chances of becoming pregnant even more if I were to go and buy the morning after pill, or would that just complicate things more? I have a hard time trusting the pill alone, so I guess I just kind of feel like I'm not using protection when I really am. I don't know if that even makes sense. I guess there are a lot of women who trust the pill by itself so I shouldn't be so worried.
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September
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The idea behind using two methods of birth control is so you can fall back on the other method if one of them fails. So, you were using withdrawal and the pill, the withdrawal failed because he pulled out too late, that means that you have the protection of the pill to fall back on.

And it sounds like you have been taking the pill as directed, so there is no reason to think that it may not be working as it should.

So, in this case, I'd not recommend EC as it wouldn't do much to increase your protection (the protection offered by EC, even when taken immediately after a risk, is lower than that of the pill taken regularly). You've already done everything you can.

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Johanna
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Sweetly92
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Thanks for your advice and input. I guess I just feel very irresponsible. I'm happy to hear that my pill should working at its full effectivenes, and that my risk is very low. I guess all I can do is hope for the best now. Thanks again
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Sweetly92
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So you guys would say I really shouldn't be worried correct? My pills are trustworthy enough?
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Sweetly92
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So you guys would say I really shouldn't be worried correct? My pills are trustworthy enough?
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Sweetly92
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By the way I'm really sorry for the double posting. I don't know how in the world I keep doing that!
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Robin Lee
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HI There,

We know that double-posting can happen sometimes. Thanks for acknowledging it, but have no worries. [Smile]

As others have said, you've been using your pill as directed, so your risk is low. If your withdrawal bleed doesn't come you can take a pregnancy test, but until then, I suggest you just relax. For what it's worth, I don't think you were being irresponsible. You just did something that didn't work the way you intended. To my mind, that's very different from irresponsibility.

Reading what you've posted here, I'm wondering if it would give you more peace of mind to use condoms whenever you have intercourse. What do you think?

[ 09-17-2012, 09:05 PM: Message edited by: Robin Lee ]

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Robin

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Sweetly92
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Thank you! I'm definitely not going to go without using condoms ever again! I've learned my lesson there! I'll try to relax, I'm just afraid that this accident will change my life forever. I'm a natural worrier, and the fact this all happened within my first week of the new pack worried me even more. I wish I would have taken my pills on the dot, but I'm a bit relieved to learn there is a three hour window before my effectiveness is compromised. I always here stories of people becoming pregnant while on the pill, and I guess that's why I have such a hard time trusting it. Thanks for your understanding, you all are so nice.
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Robin Lee
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You're most welcome.
[Smile]

In case it would be helpful, I'm including some links here to more information about the birth control pill.

Three questions about taking the birth control pill (and plenty of answers)

Combined Oral Contraceptives (The Pill)

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Robin

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Sweetly92
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Would the way I've been taking my pill be close to the perfect use rate? And just about how long would it take the pill to absorb into my body? The pharmacist told me that vomiting within an hour of taking a pill is more cause for concern than having diarrhea. But then why would the insert say diarrhea as well? I know I worry too much, and i thank you guys for being so patient with me. I don't really have anyone to talk to about matters like this.
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Heather
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A lot of people misunderstand what diarrhea is.

It's not one loose stool.

It's actually a pattern of loose stools -- very loose -- over at least a couple of days. So, perhaps you can see why vomiting before you can digest a pill is a larger concern, as well as the fact that a stool happens AFTER digestion, not before.

It looks like you're using your pill properly. It's important to understand that that perfect use rate is for ONE FULL YEAR, not for day-to-day. So, chances are, very few people, if any, will literally never take a pill late or miss in in a whole year of use.

So, we suggest people figure that if they are using hormonal method like the pill, patch or ring very well (but don't have a year or more to look at with use), they should consider themselves as having higher than typical use, but slightly lower than the clinical "perfect" use rate: something around 95% in one year (per every 100 users, mind).

But if you're backing up with another method, too? And taking it like you are? You truly are not going to become pregnant. Because combining reliable methods like that -- just two does it -- is really what gets people as close to 100% as possible.

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Sweetly92
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Ok thank you heather, I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder when I was 11 and I've still been trying to manage it. I used to have to take medication, but I didn't feel a need for it anymore, but sometimes little things like this trigger it again. I am panicking now because 7 hours after taking my next pill I had a softer stool and I didn't know If that was considered diarrhea as well, but I guess it doesn't matter since my pill probably would have been absorbed by then too. Caffeine causes my anxiety to get out of hand, and when I start to panic it causes me to have stomach problems. Web I use two methods of birth control effectively I dont have any worries, but since the withdrawal method somewhat failed this time it has left me feeling panicky. I do understand what you are saying though heather, and i appreciate everything you guys have done for me. I have a bad habit of doing hours of research on google, and when I hear certain stories it freaks me out.

[ 09-18-2012, 01:06 PM: Message edited by: Sweetly92 ]

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Heather
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I understand. Pregnancy worries trigger a lot of people with anxiety.

So, one thing I'd just do is make sure you're getting sound help with your anxiety disorder, and also check in with the therapist or other doctor who helps you mange it in terms of sex. In other words, make sure with their help that sex that poses a risk of pregnancy, or any other risks, IS something you're able to manage just yet.

One soft stool is not diarrhea. It's one soft stool. Again, diarrhea is a pattern of loose -- not just soft, it's okay for stools to be soft-- stools, over at least a couple of days.

(Also, sounds like you need to ditch the caffeine! [Smile] )

[ 09-18-2012, 01:03 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Sweetly92
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Thank you, do you have any advice where I could get to a therapist? I'm really shy, and I'm kind of embarrassed to talk about my anxieties in person.

Do you think it would be a bad idea to take EC just to ease my mind? I know it's been three days today since the Incident, but I'm assuming that it could still help me somehow.

And as long as the loose stools only happened in a single day it's not considered anything for concern right?

I'm really not at a place where I feel pregnancy would be at all okay for me right now. This is why I have been trying to be extra cautious, but I guess accidents happen.

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Heather
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In terms of finding therapy, what country are you in, and what's your healthcare coverage situation? As in, do you have insurance, or public health coverage?

Really, your pill is more effective than EC, and I see no need for it. I also think if a more effective method isn't putting you at ease, a less effective one probably won't help at this point. But you certainly can take it if you like.

Once more on the stools: nope.

Really, if right now you feel that you really can't handle ANY risk of pregnancy, even the tiniest one possible? Then my best advice would be to table the kinds of sex that pose that risk until you feel differently. After all, it's not like there aren't a ton of ways to have sex or be sexual that don't pose that risk.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Sweetly92
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I live in the US and I have blue cross blue shield as my insurance.

Thank you heather! You are absolutely right, and this isn't the first thing I've obsessed over. Since my grandfather died this year on new years day i feel like my anxiety levels have sky rocketed. It doesn't make sense to me how I ended up this way, it's quite frustrating. You are very understanding, thank you so much. I guess when you put it that way, it makes more sense not to get the pill. And ive heard that its pretty pricey as well.

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Robin Lee
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Hi There,Losing a loved one can be a serious source of stress, as well as grief. My warmest sympathies on your loss.

Cut yourself some slack on the anxiety, okay? IN other words, don't beat yourself up for it. If you feel like it's interfering with your life in serious ways, a chat with your doctor, or with a counsellor, would be a good place to start to get some help with that.

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Robin

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Sweetly92
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I do feel that talking to someone would be beneficial. Thank you for your thoughts and kind words. I guess I have a hard time trusting others when it comes to health aspects. Not trying to go into detail, but my grandfather had been complaining of chest pains and the doctor told him he was fine and it was nothing to worry about and then the next day he passed away. It's really hard for me to trust doctors now.
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Robin Lee
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You're most welcome.

Yes, I can understand how that would be traumatic and upsetting. Counsellors aren't doctors, though, so maybe that would be a good place for you to start?

And what about also, as we mentioned above, taking intercourse off the table for a while if it's leading to this much worry?

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Robin

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Sweetly92
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Yes I think that's a good idea too. I feel like an emotional wreck and I've somehow convinced myself that im going to get pregnant on top of that. When I think about it, it's seems unlikely that I'll get pregnant, and obviously you guys agree as well.... Ughh anxiety is an ugly thing.
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Robin Lee
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It certainly is an ugly thing.

If you need any help negotiating this change in your sexual relationship just let us know. [Smile]

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Robin

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Sweetly92
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Ok thank you! [Smile]
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Sweetly92
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Also, do you guys know of women who use the pill as their sole method of protection and they were okay? My friends keep telling me that I should be worried and they are freaking me out. They are the ones that are making things worse for me. They seem to think that the birth control pill isn't equally effective at different times in the pack, and that in the first week you are least protected!
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Heather
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So, the studies done to get those effectiveness rates?

Those are done with real people using the pill.

So, that 92% -- that's 92 of every 100 people -- NOT getting pregnant each year in typical use? Those are all those people. Real people. The 1 in every 2,000 in clinical perfect use not getting pregnant each year? Same deal.

Your friends clearly aren't very educated about the pill, but it sounds like you also need to hold a line and tell them to back off. Seriously.

You can also tell them if they want to talk about how the pill works, maybe you can all look it up together so you're operating from correct information?

[ 09-18-2012, 06:15 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather
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In terms of places to start to correct that misinformation for yourself (again, sounds like you need to step up for yourself here and turn the static of your friends off right now), try these:
• How do birth control pills really work, even during the placebo period?
• Combined Oral Contraceptives (The Pill)

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Sweetly92
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Thank you heather. They literally have me crying with fear! I was actually feeling a ton better earlier, then they decided to tell me that a ton of people get pregnant using it and its not reliable...but then I guess you are right, they told me to get a pregnancy test right away, and from what I've learned from this site is that pregnancy does not occur that quickly and you have to wait 14 days after the incident. They are also the ones who have been trying to force me to get the EC pill and think that is my only hope.
Thing is, if I were to get that pill, wouldn't I most likely have a messed up cycle, and then cause me to worry more if my period didn't come on time? I feel like ive tried to be very responsible and they aren't cutting me enough slack. If the loose stools I experienced didn't have any effect on my pill then I should be fine! I take my pill everyday, I make sure it's always within a couple hours difference and I never miss any ! I have even made sure that I don't take medication that could interfere with it. I'm sorry for ranting, I just feel like you guys are literally my only support system. I can't believe how much patience you all have

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Heather
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So, if you need a script, try this:
"I have been looking up credible information on my pill, and it is not what you are saying. Please stop: not only is what you are saying wrong, you are creating a panic I don't even need to be having, and you aren't doing anything but making me needlessly, upset"

Okay?

From here on out, though, you also need to use your own filtering, you know? If your friends were telling you they could be your brain surgeon, because someone told them how to do it, would you say yes? heck, no.

If your friends don't work in reproductive health, and haven't studied it at all -- and clearly they haven't -- you need to know they're not credible sources of information.

Again, with the MAP, it's your call, but please think for yourself here, not based on your friends, who clearly....well, don't know what they're talking about, and may just be hitching the train unto some drama with you because they're bored.

The MAP can mess up cycles and when withdrawal bleeds or periods come: sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't.

I think the bigger issue here with it and you, though, is that it simply isn't likely to do anything more than your pill already has, and it sounds like the only reason you even considered it is because of these friends.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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(Also? Are they calling? Stop answering the phone for the night. Give yourself some time to breathe, relax, and get grounded. Unsolicited advice, I know, but there it is if you want it.)

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Sweetly92
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I did exactly what you said and then I didn't answer the phone anymore. I don't know if they are truly concerned for me or if they are just trying to scare me. It's hard for me to remain calm when they are telling me that they are almost positive I'm gonna be pregnant. I hope this all ends well. I've learned my lesson, and I guess my friends aren't that great either. My boyfriend is very understanding and also thinks that we don't have anything to worry about. Knowing that you guys agree and feel that I'll be okay also helps me feel really assured. I don't know why my friends would freak me out so much
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Sweetly92
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Thanks for the links you sent me, and for the advice you helped a lot. I don't know why they felt the need I argue with me. You are right, they aren't experts like you are, so I shouldn't even listen to them!
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