Birth Control

Birth Control is your choice because you and often, your partner, will have to live with the consequences of a pregnancy, a birth, or, sometimes, an abortion or still born baby. Not every instance of sex results in pregnancy but many might, so, throughout human history, we have been trying to keep that pleasure of sex and minimize the sometime consequences of sexual intercourse.

These attempts have had many versions. Crocodile or elephant dung. Chastity belts. Drinking poisonous compounds; as recently as WW2, some women wanted to work with lead in the hopes that it would make them infertile. That didn't work but lead can result in multiple organ failure as a start. Condoms? Some form of those have been around as far back as 3000 B.C.- things like goat or fish bladders, sheep intestines, linen have been documented. How about a little magic, using mule's earwax and weasel testicle? Want more taste of bizarre attempts to control human reproduction on a personal level? These examples and more  were found at WebMd.

Fortunately we now know more about human reproduction and what is likely to work as "contraception", (against conception). Contraception today consists of many hormonal treatments to fool a female body into not releasing an egg, as well as "barrier methods" like the popular and easy to find condom, that attempt to place a barrier between sperm and an egg. Almost none of these is 100% effective and some do nothing or little to prevent transmitting certain infections in, in the case of pubic lice, infestations. But having sex, how much to have and what you are OK with doing must be your personal choice. And if you have a partner for it, they must be OK with it all too. So, choice of birth control is also personal and should be OK with partners.

Information in this section is very general; often you will be best off to ask a medical person, especially if you are female; age, diet, medical conditions may all have an effect on your menstrual cycle, affecting fertility.

Click here or on the Birth Control tab.

Morning After Pill / Emergency Contraception (Levonorgestrel, or Plan B)

Information here is general in nature. Over time information may get changed, contradicted or added to. You should always consult a medical practitioner or pharmacist for up to date and comprehensive information.

Emergency Contraception: The "Morning After Pill " (Levonorgestrel, or Plan B) Approximate effectiveness in preventing pregnancy: 95% when used as directed

No protection against STDs MAY be made ineffective by antibiotic use. May react with other medications; consult your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking antibiotics. There is disagreement on this possibility.

If a condom breaks or unexpected sexual intercourse happens, a woman can consider using the "Morning After Pill". The Morning After pill is a pill that prevents pregnancy going beyond fertilization of the egg, if fertilization even occurs. It should not be confused with the controversial "Abortion Drug" RU486. It works best if taken the day after intercourse but can be effective if taken up to five days later. It will have no effect on a pregnancy if pregnancy has already occurred.

"For example, if you follow proper instructions for the most common type of ECP, it will be approximately 95% effective within 24 hours, 85% effective within 25 to 48 hours and 58% effective between 49 and 72 hours." Source: Canadian Federation for Sexual Health

The Morning After pill can be gotten without a prescription (Over-the Counter, or OTC) from a clinic, doctor, or, in Canada, many pharmacists.You will - if that pharmacy carries it - have the option of speaking to the pharmacist who may advise you and give you information. The information you give the pharmacist is confidential. The most common dosage involves two pills: Take one as soon as possible after the intercourse and the second one, exactly 12 hours after the first. A less common type of emergency contraceptive pill involves four pills and is not available "OTC". It works by giving the woman a high dose of hormones which stop the egg from becoming fertilized, or by making the uterus' lining unable to hold a fertilized egg. The Morning After Pill should be considered an "emergency" measure as the side effects are nausea and vomiting. There may be other side effects which the doctor or pharmacist can tell you about. Here is some more information from WebMD. Note that the age factors mentioned in the article may or may not apply where you live.