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Author Topic: ECP - should I take it?
xx
Neophyte
Member # 96653

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I'm in a bit of a predicament, so hopefully someone can help me. I've just started have sex 3-4 months ago with my bf and have had to take the ECP 3 times now.

The first time was in June when we only had 1 condom but slept together twice, and the second time was about 3 weeks after when the condom broke and I took the ECP the next day. We recently engaged in some unprotected sexual activities (including penetration, but he did not finish inside me) last week and so I took another ECP the morning after. Last night our condom broke and we didn't realise till he pulled out to finish - right now I'm not sure what to do - whether or not I should take another ECP as I've taken about one a month now.

We are normally very careful and try to use condoms every time and I recently went to a clinic to get BCP, but have yet to start them as I'm still waiting for my periods for this month which is 5 days late, possibly due to the ECP.

I'm experiencing tender breasts and watery discharge instead of my period but I've also read that they can also be pregnancy symptoms - so that doesn't help either (i've already done a HPT and it came out neg. but will do another one in a week).

My question is if it is safe for me to take the ECP again and if it would make it difficult to conceive in the future?

[ 08-21-2012, 09:28 PM: Message edited by: xx ]

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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There's no data thus far to suggest that taking EC often poses any health risks regular, ongoing birth control pills don't. The big problem with taking it often for most people is that a) it's less effective than other methods, so more likely to fail, and b) it can get very expensive.

I have yet to see any data or study on the impact of ECPs on fertility, but I'd expect it'd be the same as with BCPs. And with that, long-term no impact has been found, though short-term, it can take some people a bit longer to conceive if they have not been off the pill for a while.

You don't have to wait, for the record, on a period to start your BCPs, it's just that if you start mid-cycle, you'll need to use a backup method for the whole of that cycle, and may have a bit more spotting than you'd have otherwise.

Two condoms breaks this often is actually a lot: condoms very rarely break when stored and used properly. Do you feel like you both know how to store and use them properly, or would you like a refresher?

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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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xx
Neophyte
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I wouldn't mind a refresher, thanks - last time we put it on inside out. =/ We normally use the ultra-thin ones (ansell Zeros).

In regards to the BCPs, I can start them now? It's just that the clinic advised me to wait till my cycle begins and also the leaflet says this also.

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Robin Lee
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HI There,

Yes, it's okay to start the BCPs now. As Heather said, when you start them only affects how quickly they may become fully effective, and since you already use condoms you'll still be protected.

Here's a refresher on condom use:
Condom Basics: A User's Manual

WE can go over any of this if you have questions or concerns. [Smile]

--------------------
Robin

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xx
Neophyte
Member # 96653

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Thanks Robin, my partner is normally the one putting the condoms on, but I will take a look at the article and let you know if I have any questions.

I actually just got my periods not long after posting this (hallelujah!) so I've taken my first BCP and I'm also trying to keep track of how heavy I'm bleeding/how long I'm bleeding for. So far so good, but if it's shorter than my normal cycles I will probably take another HPT test to be sure. We also went to the clinic today and got the ECP (and do some STI testing), but I was waiting for the 24th hr to see if my period would come and it did! So hopefully I won't have to use it for a LONG LONG LONG time (more close to never).

Thanks for all your help! Pregnancy scares are the worst =/ I never want to experience that again.

[ 08-22-2012, 10:37 AM: Message edited by: xx ]

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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In terms of preventing breakage, we also have another article that addresses that very specifically: http://www.scarleteen.com/blog/heather_corinna/2011/11/23/condoms_breaking_ur_probably_doin_it_wrong

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
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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xx
Neophyte
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Thanks Heather!
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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No trouble. Any questions, or see anything come up there you can identify as the likely culprit?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
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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xx
Neophyte
Member # 96653

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I think the lubrication and not leaving enough room at the tip is what is causing it. The last time it split we kept getting dry down there. I think we need to get some extra lubrication as we don't use any atm. The first time it split because he was a bit rough and the condom we were using was kinda tight.

I have another question about the BCP - as I have taken ECP in the past it would most likely put off my cycle, will BCP help regulate it again?

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xx
Neophyte
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Also I didn't check the expiration date on any of the condoms, so I will do that from now on, especially when we get them on sale.
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Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
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HI There,

What will happen with daily birth control pills is that you'll have what is called a withdrawal bleed every month. The last week in the pack of pills is non-hormonal; they're what are known as placebo pills and are basically place holders. During that week, your body has a chance to shed whatever uterine lining it has built up during the month. These withdrawal bleeds may be different from the periods you've had--they may be longer or shorter, lighter or heavier (though for most people on BCP withdrawal bleeds are lighter). The shedding of the uterine lining will take place at about the same time each month though, some time during the last week of the pack.

And yes, with condom use, using extra lubricant is very important. Vaginal lubrication isn't usually enough to prevent unwanted friction on the condom.

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Robin

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xx
Neophyte
Member # 96653

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Ah, this explains a lot - thanks for your help!

[ 08-22-2012, 10:40 PM: Message edited by: xx ]

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