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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Emergencies and Crises » Plan B and Birth control Pill (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Plan B and Birth control Pill
fallenleaf
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If I take Plan B One step at the beginning of my second week (my pack starts on Friday and I would potentially take it today, on Saturday), do I proceed normally with the rest of my pill pack?

Thank you [Smile]

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Claire P.
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Hi Anna284,
May I ask more about the circumstances that led to you taking Plan B One Step? How long have you been on birth control, which pill is it, was your reasoning for the Plan B related to some mishap with your pills? Or...?

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Claire P.
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The short answer to your question is that you can resume your regular birth control pills ASAP- and should, since Plan B One Step does not protect against any more/future acts of unprotected sex & associated risks.

[ 10-20-2012, 03:24 PM: Message edited by: Claire P. ]

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fallenleaf
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So if I take Plan B today, I should take my regular birth control pill at the regular time tonight?
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fallenleaf
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sorry-- didn't see your other question!!

I have been on Aviane-28, which is pretty low-dose, I don't know how effective it is. I've been on birth control since June.

I am taking Plan B one step because I was touching my boyfriend's penis, and then we wanted to touch ourselves. So I washed my hands and then starting touching myself but I'm terrified that there was something on my hand when I was touching myself.

So I want to take Plan B to be sure, especially because my pill is low-dose.

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Robin Lee
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If you have been taking your pills consistently, every day at about the same time of day (it's okay if it's not exactly the same time every day), Plan B isn't going to do anything for you that you're not already getting from your daily birth control pills.

Can you talk more about why you feel you need to take Plan B today?

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Robin

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fallenleaf
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I should add that this incident happened yesterday night. I am worried because night before yesterday I forgot to take my pill. I took it when I remembered yesterday afternoon, and then took that day's pill that night. I don't know if this matters or not.
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Robin Lee
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Anna,

What you described was not a pregnancy risk. Not one bit.

Have you read through our articles on what does and does not pose a pregnancy risk?

Also, the fact that your pill is a "low dose" pill doesn't at all impact it's effectiveness. All birth control pills on the market today are equally effective. The amounts of hormones in them differ based on the brands, and different people take different ones because their bodies respond differently to them in terms of side effects, not in terms of how effective they are at preventing pregnancy.

I understand you're concerned because you were late with a pill. However, again, what you describe is not a pregnancy risk.

Does this all make sense?

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Robin

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fallenleaf
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Okay. I did read through the articles a while ago, and remember it's unlikely because there was no genital to genital contact.

Are you sure that they would die like that with soap and water? The two incidents were only about ten minutes away from each other.

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Robin Lee
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It takes more than sperm to create a pregnancy. They need fluid semen (which they didn't have since there would have just been traces of semen on your hands).

and yes, I'm sure that they were already dead or unable to travel *before* you washed your hands with soap and water. Sperm are not at all like bacteria. They're super super delicate. Think of it this way too...if sperm has to make any stops between penis and vulva, it's really just not able to contribute to pregnancy anymore.

There's some really helpful info about this here in this article:

The Simple And Underrated Art Of Washing Your Hands

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Robin

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fallenleaf
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ok-- there was no semen because my boyfriend didn't ejaculate before I started to touch myself, my hands were just coming into contact with his dry penis. So that makes the risk even lower? Even though I took my birth control pill incorrectly, since it was late (took it the next early afternoon instead of the night before)?
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Robin Lee
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It makes there not even be a risk since you washed your hands prior to touching yourself.

So you not taking your pill 100% correctly (and you did the right thing taking it as soon as you realized!) doesn't have any bearing here.

Does that make sense?

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Robin

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Claire P.
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It's not just "unlikely because there was no genital to genital contact," in your case, it is just plain *impossible* that you could be pregnant.

I am not sure I understand what you are asking about the soap. Do you not believe in the use of soap generally, particularly in its ability to wash away potentially-harmful germs? Or do you think there is an exception for some reason? I don't know why the time between would be relevant- it is not as if soap works *after* you finish washing your hands. So you did not cut any potential magic-healing/cleaning time short.

BUT, in focusing on this soap thing, you're actually still making an assumption that doesn't hold up. It's true, as Robin said, that if you washed your hands, there is absolutely x infinity ACTUALLY no way. Because of the way soap works.

But, unlike certain other germs- that are still killed by soap- sperm cannot survive on a variety of surfaces or in a selection of different environments. Its survival is CRITICALLY dependent on some very specific things and a very specific environment. Otherwise they die, and quickly. You can refer back to our pregnancy scare articles for more detailed explanation- but your situation simply did not provide anything even remotely close to the necessary environment.

You know, if you think you are likely to continue experiencing sessions of intense, illogical worrying- and you want to continue being sexually active- why not have your boyfriend put on a condom before you do anything at all? Would that make you feel better? It is also possible to buy and wear latex gloves for certain sexual acts.

Finally, Anna, I am not sure how many of these scares you have had in the past, and/or how many times you have taken Plan B, but it can definitely take quite a toll on the system, and is really not something you should be * arbitrarily* (aka without real chance of risk) introducing into your body.

[ 10-20-2012, 04:37 PM: Message edited by: Claire P. ]

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fallenleaf
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ok-- so it doesn't matter how well I washed my hands? I was worried since perhaps I didn't wash them thoroughly?

I already bought Plan B just in case-- would it hurt to take it for my peace of mind? I'm so confused by this all.

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Claire P.
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Washing your hands= not necessary. You were at a zero risk of pregnancy before you washed your hands.

Since you are continuing to worry in spite of your zero risk, why do you feel that taking the Plan B would make a difference to the worry?

Why not just hold onto the Plan B? You are at zero risk of pregnancy, and it's not a cheap med. If you or a friend ever has a situation where there is a real risk of pregnancy, you'll be all set. [Smile]

[ 10-20-2012, 04:44 PM: Message edited by: Claire P. ]

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fallenleaf
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smarter idea with the Plan B-- I don't know why I can't just accept I have no risk! Something about the thought of potentially having some sperm on my hand and then touching myself is so so scary for me
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Robin Lee
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HI Anna,

Do you feel like you factually understand why having semen on your hands, then washing your hands, doesn't pose a pregnancy risk?

How do you feel about taking a break from this kind of sexual activity, since you're so anxious after engaging in it?

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Robin

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fallenleaf
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factual clarification-- would the sperm be dead after washing (which would depend on how thoroughly I washed?) or dead after they got onto my hand, if any sperm did, since I touched his bare penis, and not really ejaculate?
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fallenleaf
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Plan B would make a huge difference to my worry, because I would then know there would be absolutely no way I could be pregnant, so shouldn't I be able to take it and then continue with my regular birth control?
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fallenleaf
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I don't know how I'd feel about taking a break, I'm so confused because I thought I would be comfortable afterwards since we've done that before, but instead I'm really scared... maybe it was because it was a while since we did that before. I feel like I can't trust myself when I say (like last night) that I want to do something. I don't know what I really want. But at the moment I don't know why I'm having such trouble accepting there is no risk.
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Robin Lee
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You can certainly do that if you would like to.

Plan B is actually, percentage wise, less effective than daily birth control pills. Even though you were late on that one pill, your pills should still be doing their job.

I'm not sure if there are any side effects to taking Plan B when one is already on hormonal birth control.If that's something that concerns you, I would suggest calling a pharmacist to ask them.

I think it would also be a good idea for us to talk about how to prevent this kind of worry from happening again.

So, again, what do you think about having a discussion with your boyfriend about taking a break from this kind of sexual activity? As I often tell people, sexual activity needs to feel good after one does it, as well as during, and it doesn't sound like you're feeling particularly good right now.

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Robin

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fallenleaf
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so you're saying that if I were to take it, I would just need to continue taking my birth control pills... I wouldn't need to start a new pack?

I talked to him and we won't be doing that again for a while but I don't understand and I feel like it's completely my fault because I felt fine about it in the moment and even sort of initiated! I don't know how to know what I'm comfortable with because I felt good before, during, but not afterwards.

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Robin Lee
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No, you wouldn't need to start a new pack. I'm not sure what you would experience in terms of side effects. Plan B is a large amount of hormone to be taking at once, so I'm not sure if you might experience things like spotting or other side effects. Basically, I don't know enough about it to tell you for sure that taking it would be fine, but I also don't know enough to tell you that you shouldn't take it.

It would help me understand how best to proceed with this conversation if you could tell me how helpful this interchange has been in helping you understand how what you experienced was not a pregnancy risk.

So, should we talk about that some more...how to know what you're comfortable with?

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Robin

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fallenleaf
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ok-- so there is ZERO risk if the penis did not touch the vulva. In the washing hands article you linked me to, it said it was "highly unlikely" which makes me a little nervous.

I don't know if I should take the Plan B I bought or not... I know it would do so much to ease my worry but I don't want to play into a habit...

this sort of scenario has happened OVER and OVER again in the past year and a half and I am just sick of it. I don't know how to know what I'm comfortable with, which just sounds stupid, because I am me and I feel like I should know! But I just don't. And it has resulted in me putting myself in these situations in which sometimes I am comfortable but sometimes I am not. I just have no clue. My boyfriend is okay with whatever (i.e. anything from no sexual activity to having intercourse), which makes me feel even worse, because it truly it all me that just doesn't have it together.

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Robin Lee
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Hi There,

Well, once you wash your hands, it really goes from unlikely to not possible.

I think you have a strong point in saying that you don't want to make turning to Plan B a habit when you know there isn't any pregnancy risk.

Plan B won't hurt you, but it's also completely unnecessary and could lead to some discomfort like bleeding between withdrawal bleeds.

IN terms of your discomfort, I really wouldn't say that you don't "have it all together". WE all have things that we have a hard time with, and what your boyfriend is saying to you is that he has no problem with the idea of anything from no sexual activity to intercourse. There's really no predicting how either of you would feel after *any* sexual activity.

How is your relationship with your boyfriend in general?

Based on what you've said here, it sounds like it might be beneficial to take a break from engaging in any sexual activity involving genitals. What do you think?

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Robin

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Robin Lee
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HI Anna,

Just to let you know: I'm headed out now as it's been a long day for me, but I will be back tomorrow so we can pick up this conversation.

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Robin

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fallenleaf
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Hi Robin,

We definitely will take a break from engaging in any sexual activity involving genitals.

I'm seeing some really scary stuff on the internet that's making me want to take the Plan B and really doubt everything... I just want to confirm-- sperm cannot and will never survive or get anyone present unless it is ejaculated directly on a vulva or into a vagina, correct?

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Claire P.
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Anna,
the great thing about Scarleteen is that the volunteers here are all reliable in that everyone is really knowledgeable and experienced, and are not going to give you false information.

So, I totally understand why it is tempting, but is no need for you to go anywhere else on the Internet. If you want a “second opinion,” (if you don’t count me and Robin as two already- which you perhaps should, as our sources of sex ed/training came from different places), call or visit your doctor. Or, perhaps you could set up a consultation appointment with a local Planned Parenthood. These are all legitimate other sources of information- and they will confirm the information we have given you here.

To be clear: if you don’t already know which sites and organizations to trust or not to trust, “the Internet” could easily be the worst sex ed research experience ever.

Frankly, the Internet is NOT full of legitimate sex ed. In fact, many online sites are full of misleading or totally false information. So, I totally agree with you that there is a lot of really scary stuff on the Internet that can make you doubt almost anything- if only because there is so much of that paranoia stuff out there, and if you’re already not in a good place, sure, it can be catchy. Just try to remember that just because hysteria can be catchy when you are already feeling worried, that DOES NOT create any kind of legitimacy for you to feel worried.

It seems like there are a bajillion personal blogs and sites like Yahoo Answers out there, where anonymous people who could be lying about themselves, their experience, their profession (e.g. just because someone says they are a Doctor does not mean they actually are)- and/or could be completely fabricating their posted responses to questions or trending news/politics/cultural issues. Why trust these random Internet strangers, or websites where you don’t know the author (or their potential bias) Sometimes, information posted is coming from a deliberately biased source- for example, there are many legitimate-seeming foundations that want to make Plan B illegal, and some of these have webpages that list all these "facts" about how Plan B is the same as an abortion pill. When that is actually completely scientifically false.

The sad reality is that many, many people out there nowadays never received any kind of comprehensive sex ed (and who knows how many people posting this crazy stuff may or may not have experienced one of the school programs that focused on abstinence-only-education WITH SCIENTIFICALLY-INCORRECT information.

It is easy and common to get scared of outcomes from an activity (or any/all facets of that activity in general) when you have not been educated to the extent where you feel really comfortable about making choices regarding that activity. People who feel like they do not know everything they need to know can often become scared- and this can often take the form of the frantic type of irrational worry you too are now experiencing. And these are MANY of the “experts” or perhaps just individuals “weighing in” as if they have some type of authority on issues they may not actually know all/any of the facts about.

If it helps, rather than thinking of these individuals as figures of any potential authority, keep in mind that they are often probably not unlike many of our users here at Scarleteen, and could easily have many of the same questions. Would you trust them over our actually-knowledgeable and trained volunteers?

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fallenleaf
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Claire, I appreciate this detailed information so much-- of course I trust this site, but I think when I panic I search online and get all of this unreliable information which I really shouldn't expose myself to. True, I haven't been educated to the extent "where you feel really comfortable about making choices regarding that activity"! and I really want to be. thanks for "validating" the irrational worry I was experiencing.

My parents basically established for me that I shouldn't and wouldn't be having sex before marriage, just because that is the culture in which they were raised. I would never dream of talking about sex with them. My mom never talked to me about these things, even though my dad probably thought she should, I don't have the closest relationship with her.

I did have intercourse with my boyfriend before, just once. My parents really looked down on me, especially my mom. It was as if I was making decisions to ruin my future, to make me personally insecure, just giving myself here and there. They don't understand that I would NEVER have sex if it wasn't with my boyfriend who I've been with for more than a year! He is SO committed to me. They think that because he's had sex with me and didn't wait to get married (I don't even know if I want to get married, nor does he!) then that means that he is using me and doesn't truly love me. This is incredibly hurtful to hear, and makes me doubt myself tremendously, especially because I have A LOT of trust issues that I am working out with a therapist. They don't understand that I am not and will probably never be into casual sex! There is only black and white for them. I wish they could see me as the person I am, someone who takes herself not lightly but actually TOO seriously sometimes; I would never throw herself around. I made a decision to have sex because I am in a secure, loving relationship, but I also felt like I wanted to prove something to my irrational worries, that it wasn't as big of a deal as I was making it out to be. We haven't since because of these irrational fears that come up, even though I'm now on birth control. I just am so busy with school and work and can't deal with the emotional stress sex brings me.

I was put on birth control because of severe PMS symptoms. Before we talk about what I might or might not feel comfortable with, can I get my facts straight about my birth control? I'm on Aviane-28, and have been since June. Why does it have less hormones if it is "just as effective" as a higher hormone pill? What exactly is the effectiveness, and how does it work? I take it every day anytime between 11pm-1am; is this window of time too large? I know I have a 12 hour grace period but the day before that I was "late" as I was describing, I was worried because I took it about 14 hours late, so it was missed? Does the effectiveness "reset" to perfect effectiveness as I start every new pack?

I'm sorry this is so long. I have a lot to clarify and discuss. I am so thankful to you guys for your services on this site. You're making a huge positive difference in my sexual education, and confidence!!!!

By the way, I'm a little concerned about the confidentiality of this post. Is it possible that after we finish this discussion, this thread could be deleted?

[ 10-21-2012, 02:01 PM: Message edited by: Anna284 ]

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Robin Lee
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Hi Anna,

Hearing the kinds of pressures that have been put on you, it's understandable why you feel so much anxiety and worry. I'm sorry that your parents looked down on you, shamed you really, when they found out you'd had intercourse. I can imagine how hurtful that was, and can understand more of where this fear of pregnancy is coming from.

That two-hour window for taking your birth control pill is perfectly fine. So long as the pill is taken around the same time of day each day, it will do its job.

The effects of the pill aren't cumulative. So, when you start a new pack, so long as you start it on time, anything that happened previously in terms of taking the pill on time, or anything else that might impact the pill no longer counts.

The lower hormone level in the pills just means that it's lower than the hormone levels in other brands. Different people respond to different hormone levels in different ways, but all birth control pills, regardless of the brand, have the same contraceptive capacity. There aren't any pills that are more or less effective than others.

Have you seen these articles? I think you'd find them beneficial in understanding more of how the pill works.

How do birth control pills really work, even during the placebo period?

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


As stated in the user agreement, we do not delete posts unless someone is at risk based on what they've written. WE also ask people to not use information that might make them easily identifiable. What is it that makes you think that someone might find these posts and think they're from you?

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Robin

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fallenleaf
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Hi Robin,

Thanks for clarifying-- if all hormone levels are equal effectiveness, wouldn't more people prefer lower hormone ones so it would be less potential side effects?

I'm not sure I think I'm just paranoid about someone discovering it is me, but I realize this is probably really unlikely?

Also I was wondering if we could talk a little about how to know what I'm comfortable with. Like I explained, I simply have no clue why or how I will feel a certain way after a sexual activity-- my feelings just seem really random. Are there questions I should be asking myself?

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Heather
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The differences with higher/lower are really VERY subtle, and side effects -- beneficial or not -- don't just happen because of the levels of hormones. If we all had the exact same body chemistry, that'd be more of a factor, but we don't: we're all very diverse in that respect.

So, for one user of a given pill, a lower amount of estrogen may decrease certain side effects, while for another, it may increase them.

If you don't use the handle Anna284 anywhere else, then no one can discover this is you. If you do, you can change the public name displayed with your posts in your profile options, and we'd advise anyone do that, just like we make clear when registering users should not choose handles they use anywhere else or which may publicly identify them in any way.

Not sure what you mean regarding the diversity of your feelings. want to fill us in a bit more?

[ 10-23-2012, 01:12 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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fallenleaf
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Hi Heather, things have been really hectic lately, but I was wondering if it was okay or ever "too late" to continue this thread...

Thanks for letting me know about the post security - yeah Anna is not my real name, so I am all set! [Razz]

regarding the diversity of my feelings, I suffer from intimacy issues and severe mood swings. In other words, being in a relationship has been really difficult for me because it's always a push and pull. When we get really intimate, I get scared and push him away, but then I want him back and feel so alone. It's really scary and it feels like an emotional roller coaster. I'm working with a therapist now and it'll probably be for long term - I have many personality issues.

On top of that, I have my ultra-conservative parents who are so controlling and don't want me having sex until marriage which I think I talked about earlier in this thread. I went to them to tell them the one time I did have sex with him, because I felt so confused about it, thinking that that would provide some sort of relief and comfort - of course, it was absolutely awful.

Last night, for example, I gave my boyfriend oral sex. He NEVER pressures me into these things. I really wanted to, I love him so much. But today, I feel a little ashamed. Like I shouldn't have down that, and that any type of intimacy is just so scary. It's really torture, because I find myself sometimes wanting to have intercourse, wishing I could be free - I would be safe, as I am on the combination Pill and he would always use a condom. But I just can't let myself. it's so difficult. I feel like i'm cheating him out of intimacy we both deserve. We're so loving and committed to each other, we've been together more than a year.

does that fill in more - any ideas, or am I just hopeless? I really feel like that sometimes - that I'm striving and striving to be intimate but so many factors are getting in my way.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Nope, never too late! Anytime any user wants to talk more with us, unless we've set a limit of some kind with them about something, it's all good. [Smile]

What I'm hearing here from you is that you WANT to want certain things and you WANT to be okay with certain things, but you're just not there. From the sounds of things, you're not anywhere close to there. Does that sound about right to you?

If it does, my very best advice would be to just try and really accept where you are actually at, do things that can positively help you get closer to the places you want to be, and cut out or pull back with things that have you in a place where you are trying to be somewhere you're just not. For example, it really sounds to me like being in any kind of sexual relationship right now just isn't the right thing for you, no matter how much you wish it was and want it to be.

And not engaging in sex, btw, doesn't mean there has to be a lack of intimacy. Sex is only one possible way of being intimate of many.

I don't think you're hopeless. I just think it sounds like you're trying to push yourself too much into places and things you're not ready for or are conflicted about. Know what I mean?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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fallenleaf
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I guess that sounds right, but I imagine being in a sexually intimate relationship with my boyfriend a lot these days and I really crave it, because of how close we are in general. I really want to be freer - I feel like my fear of pregnancy is just an excuse, and I don't know what it is an excuse for. why do I want something so badly that isn't right, you know?
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