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Abortion – Are you considering an abortion?

Abortion – Are you considering an abortion?

If you are reading this article, you may be pregnant and considering abortion.  Most women do not come to the decision to abort lightly. Half of pregnancies in America are unintended. It may feel like you are alone and pregnant but many women in the San Francisco Bay Area have experienced an unplanned pregnancy. Approximately 75% of pregnant women know what they want to do with their unplanned pregnancy.  Women who have decided on abortion might seek out Planned Parenthood in Oakland or Women’s Options Center in San Francisco for their abortion clinics.  Women planning to parent might seek out their OB/GYN to begin prenatal care.  Women choosing adoption might seek out adoption agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area.  The other 25% of women in unintended pregnancies are unsure and need a safe place to discuss their pregnancy options.  They are typically looking for:

  • Lab Grade Pregnancy Tests
  • Limited Ultrasound
  • Decision Counseling
  • Community Resources and Referrals
  • Nurse Consultation
  • Proof of Pregnancy

Have you confirmed your pregnancy by visiting a medical office, pregnancy clinic, or pregnancy center in the Bay Area? Abortion procedures require a pregnancy verification.  Lab-grade pregnancy tests can be more accurate than home pregnancy tests purchased at your local CVS pharmacy or Walgreens pharmacy. After confirming your pregnancy at a Support Circle Pregnancy Clinic, you may choose to have an ultrasound performed. Why? The pregnancy ultrasound provided at our clinic is able to provide accurate dating of your unplanned pregnancy. This is important because your pregnancy options are determined by how far along in the pregnancy you are. And, a pregnancy ultrasound can go one step further to see if this is an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies are rare, but are serious conditions where treatment is needed to prevent complications.

Women contemplating an abortion are often in most need of their friends, family, partner. Sadly, this may feel like a very lonely time for you. Many women begin researching their options online.  Abortion clinics Bay Area, abortion Oakland, abortion clinics Redwood City, women’s options center San Francisco, abortion cost San Francisco are common searches. Whatever your reasons for considering abortion, at Support Circle’s pregnancy centers in the Bay Area, we are able to provide you with a caring, listening, non-judgmental counselor that can help you through this time and even in the months following your pregnancy decision.

Deciding to abort a pregnancy is seldom a decision made lightly. No one should pressure you into making a decision about your pregnancy. This includes the father, family, friends, counselors, etc. And sometimes, the greatest pressure comes from ourselves.

Call our pregnancy centers first.  We want you to be well informed about your pregnancy decision.  We provide the services you need to make your decision.  Our funding comes from local residents and other friends who believe that women should receive information from a place that doesn’t profit from either outcome of their pregnancy decision.

If you would like to talk to someone about your pregnancy decision, adoption decision, abortion decision, thoughts, emotions, or ask medical questions at any time, the caring counselors at Support Circle’s pregnancy centers in the San Francisco Bay Area are available to listen and to provide non-judgmental emotional support before and after your pregnancy decision for the coming year. Our nurses can confirm your pregnancy test results, provide you with pregnancy verification and assist with dating the pregnancy during an ultrasound.

Call or visit one of our three Support Circle Pregnancy Clinics in San Francisco, Oakland and Redwood City. All appointments are confidential and free of charge.

Support Circle provides information about but is not a provider of abortions.

Links:

Why is my period late?

Pregnancy Symptoms

Pregnancy Options

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Common Misconceptions About Unplanned Pregnancies

Common Misconceptions About Unplanned Pregnancies

We asked our patient advocate team to share some of the most common misconceptions about unplanned pregnancies they encounter when meeting with women in our three Bay Area pregnancy clinics.  We are sharing these so that you also can be educated about these common misconceptions about unplanned pregnancies.

Misconception 1:  There are no good options

A common statement women make is: “There aren’t any good options.” Women often feel that the only options are to parent completely on their own or to abort. It is very common to feel this way, especially right after discovering you are unexpectedly pregnant. Oftentimes, women say there aren’t any good options because they are thinking of their current situation as it is right now and can’t see the solution. But if they were to sit down with a patient advocate to weigh their options and identify the supportive people in their lives, it changes the equation. People that were not in the picture might come in and be helpful. People that could be helpful with work or schooling can be brought in and make the situation better. There are many community resources that women are often not aware of that they can greatly benefit from. Many times, our clients have commented that exploring options was good because there were many avenues they did not know existed.

Misconception 2:  It is irresponsible to have an unintended pregnancy

Half of all pregnancies in America are unplanned. With great diversity to the backgrounds and circumstances of each pregnancy, it is a false stereotype to categorically say it’s irresponsible to have an unintended pregnancy. But what is irresponsible is, now that you are pregnant, to make a rash decision without evaluating the short and long-term consequences of your options. The caring staff at Support Circle is dedicated to helping our clients be well-informed about their pregnancy decision. We encourage you to take time to evaluate your core values and the repercussions of your pregnancy decision, whichever decision you end up making.

Misconception 3:  The Morning After Pill can be taken at any time during the cycle

The “Morning After Pill” is a common name for emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) designed to be taken within hours of unprotected sex — the sooner the better — because it works by preventing ovulation. The longer you wait, the greater the chance of ovulating. ECPs work to prevent ovulation before it occurs so if you have unprotected sex after ovulation (usually days 10–14 of your cycle), ECPs may not stop a pregnancy. Emergency contraception should not be used as a regular birth control method to prevent pregnancy. If you have unprotected sex in the days after ovulation, there is a risk of becoming pregnant. You can find out if you are pregnant by taking a free, lab-quality pregnancy test at one of our three Bay Area medical clinics. The pregnancy tests administered by Support Circle nurses are more than 99% accurate and are able to detect a pregnancy as early as 10 days after conception.

At Support Circle, we often encounter common misconceptions about unplanned pregnancies.  Our professional nurses and patient advocates are dedicated to providing time, space and support to women in unintended pregnancies. Our clients love our relational approach built on respect, trust and confidentiality. Thanks to the generous donations of our supporters, we are able to offer our services free of charge.

 

Links

Pregnancy Options

Morning After Pill

Schedule an Appointment

 

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How do I tell my parents I am pregnant?

How Do I Tell My Parents I am Pregnant?

Are you feeling nervous, unprepared, or afraid of telling your parents that you are pregnant? It’s easy to share news we know for sure our parents will be excited about. But other times, we are not sure how they will take what we have to share. Telling parents that you are in an unplanned pregnancy brings its own range of angst. Here are nine areas to think about when preparing to tell your parents that you are pregnant.

Get the Facts

Before you tell your parents and before you get too stressed out, confirm that you are pregnant. The nurses at Support Circle can perform a pregnancy test for you to confirm the results of a home pregnancy test that you may have purchased at a CVS pharmacy or a Walgreens pharmacy.

If it turns out that you are not pregnant, you won’t have to have this difficult conversation with your parents. If you plan to remain sexually active, selecting a reliable birth control plan can help you to avoid facing an unplanned pregnancy. If you are pregnant, a Support Circle nurse can perform a free ultrasound that will tell you how far along you are and can determine if the fetus is viable. If the fetus is not viable, it will drastically change your decision making process and what conversation, if any, you might decide to have with your parents.

Know Your Parents

Think back to how your parents react to sudden news. Are they calm and rational? Do they freak out and then calm down and think it through? How your parents react will be determined by their personalities and also by factors including these questions you should answer ahead of time: Are they aware that you are dating? Do they know you have been sexually active? How old are you? Do they perceive you to be mature for your age? Are you in school, working or both? What expectations do they have for you? What are their values regarding dating and sex? Have your parents experienced an unplanned pregnancy? Knowing what to expect from your parents can help you to prepare for their reaction. Ultimately, you will not know how your parents will react until you tell them. The next steps will help you to prepare to tell your parents you are pregnant.

Expert Support

What do you want to do about your pregnancy? In your perfect world, would you want to abort, place for adoption or parent? Regardless of your decision, you should talk to a professional pregnancy counselor because she can help you to determine your next steps. Pregnancy counselors have the knowledge of and access to community resources that you may need. They have lots of experience and can answer your questions. Caring counselors are able to give you the emotional support you need to make your best decision and throughout your pregnancy and beyond. If you decide you want to talk to your parents, a counselor can help you to role play the conversation and create a plan for how to discuss different topics with them. Many women have found this to be very helpful prior to approaching their parents.

A Support System

You will need support from those closest to you. It will help to have someone in your life that you can talk to. Someone who can help you to process your thoughts, values, emotions, and options. Often, a wise support person may be a close family friend, school counselor, favorite teacher, aunt or uncle.

Make a Plan

Having a plan for your next steps, based on your pregnancy decision, will show your parents that you have given this thought. If you are younger, it will help them to see that you have begun to take a mature approach to your pregnancy. You do not have to have every area outlined or thought out – they can help with that. A trusted advisor or pregnancy counselor can help you to lay out a plan based on your decision. It would also be a good idea to have a plan ready in case your parents request that you leave your home or emergency shelter if your home becomes a dangerous place for you.

Bring a Friend

Ideally, you and your boyfriend or girlfriend should tell your parents together. Sometimes, that is not possible. The next best option is to bring a friend. If you are concerned about your parents’ reaction or need help telling them, it might be wise to bring a friend. The person you selected as part of your support system might be a good choice. If you are concerned about your safety, having a friend present could help to diffuse the situation. Or, you could meet with your parents in a counselor’s office. A professional pregnancy counselor can address your parents’ questions and concerns as well as provide valuable resources for your family.

The Best Time

There really is no “best time” to tell your parents about your unplanned pregnancy. However, there are “better times.” Right after work, as soon as your parents walk in the door is not the best time. A better time would be after dinner or after a younger sibling has gone to bed. Consider your parents’ schedules and select a time when they will be most relaxed and receptive to a conversation.

What to Say

Your plan will help you to know what you need to share with your parents. For example, if you are younger, or still under their medical insurance, you may need their consent for medication or procedures, or help navigating medical bills. Do you need a ride to/from medical appointments or financial support? A clear and concise: “Mom, Dad, I’m pregnant,” will certainly get the conversation rolling. Chances are, your parents will do much of the talking and asking questions after an opening line like above.

Give it Time

This is life-changing news. It took you some time to come to terms with your pregnancy. Allow your parents time to process this information and come to terms with your pregnancy as well. Just as you went through a range of emotions, your parents may as well. They have to grieve the expectations and plans they had envisioned for you and accept the new reality. Be patient.

What you do with your pregnancy is your decision to make. Hopefully, your parents will support you in your decision. If not, we hope the tips shared above will help you to have a plan and support system in place.

The caring and supportive nurses and counselors at Support Circle are available to help you with pregnancy testing, counseling during your decision process and on-going counseling and support for the coming year after your decision. We have three locations in the Bay Area including Redwood City, San Francisco and Oakland that offer services free of charge. You do not have to walk through this journey alone. Connect with us today and let us help you find the information you are looking for.

 

Related Posts:

 

Pregnancy Symptoms

Pregnancy Options

Pregnancy Counseling

 

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Abortion – What if I decide to abort my pregnancy?

Abortion – What if I decide to abort my pregnancy?

What if I decide to abort my pregnancy?If you are reading this article, you may be pregnant and considering an abortion. Most women do not come to the decision to abort lightly. You may be concerned about your school or employment, housing, what your family will say, finances, etc. According to a recent Public Opinions survey, one of the biggest factors in women deciding on abortion is the relationship with the father. Women contemplating an abortion are often in most need of their friends, family, partner. Sadly, this may feel like a very lonely time for you. Whatever your reasons for considering abortion, at Support Circle, we are able to provide you with a caring, listening, non-judgmental counselor that can help you through this time and even in the months following your pregnancy decision.

Before going any further, first things first. Have you confirmed your pregnancy by visiting a medical office or clinic? Medical pregnancy tests can be more accurate than home pregnancy tests purchased at your local CVS or Walgreens pharmacy. After confirming your pregnancy, you may choose to have an ultrasound performed. Why? Ultrasounds are able to provide accurate dating of your pregnancy. This is important because your options are determined by how far along in the pregnancy you are. And, an ultrasound can go one step further to see if this is an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies are usually treatable with medication if discovered early but can be potentially life-threatening.

Medical Abortion

If the pregnancy is less than ten weeks from the date of your last menstrual cycle, you may be eligible for a medical abortion, also known as the Abortion Pill. Medical abortions are performed using two different drugs while under the supervision of a doctor, nurse practitioner, or midwife. The Abortion Pill is a drug called Mifepristone, Mifeprex, or RU486 and is available by prescription only. Mifepristone, when used in combination with Misoprostol, disrupts an existing pregnancy. Typically, during the initial medical visit, you will be asked to complete blood tests, an ultrasound and counseling prior to beginning the drug regimen.

The two-part drug regimen can only be obtained with a prescription. The first drug makes the uterus a difficult place for the fetus to remain implanted. The second drug helps to remove the fetus from the uterus. In technical terms, Mifepristone is an anti-progesterone that causes the lining of the uterine walls to shed and it softens and dilates (expands) the cervix, thus facilitating an abortion. Misoprostol, the second drug, is a prostaglandin that induces uterine contractions and softens and dilates the cervix. It is taken approximately 48 hours after taking Mifepristone. When these two drugs are taken in combination with each other, a medical abortion is complete approximately 97% of the time. A follow up visit 7-14 days later is very important to ensure there is no tissue left behind and that the abortion occurred successfully.

Some women experience mild cramping and/or nausea in addition to vaginal bleeding or spotting. The most common side effects of the Mifepristone and Misoprostol regimen include: pelvic cramping, vaginal bleeding, and spotting (including the expelling of tissue and blood clots) for an average of 9-16 days. It is also common to experience nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches, fever, chills, weakness and diarrhea. Contact your medical practitioner if you are concerned about the side affects you are experiencing.

Surgical Abortion

Depending upon how far your pregnancy has progressed, there may be two kinds of surgical abortion options available to you. Aspiration (also known as vacuum aspiration or suction curettage) can be performed up to 12-14 weeks after the start of the last menstrual cycle. It only requires one visit to a medical clinic. Typically, during that visit, you will be asked to complete blood tests, an ultrasound and counseling prior to the procedure.  A local anesthesia will be applied to the cervix to numb pain. You might feel some minor pressure but should not feel pain. The cervix is dilated (expanded) and the aspiration device empties the contents of the uterus. While the aspiration procedure only takes approximately 5-15 minutes, you will need to recover for about 30 minutes afterward.

For pregnancies from 13-24 weeks after the start of your last menstrual cycle, a Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) is the surgical abortion procedure available. A D&E is similar to the aspiration abortion. However, the cervix is dilated more and this procedure requires two or three visits. For the first appointment, blood tests, an ultrasound and counseling session are standard. Also on the first visit, either medication or fiber rods are used to begin to dilate the cervix. On the next visit, if your cervix is sufficiently dilated, the same aspiration device is used to empty the uterus. Additional instruments may be used to ensure the contents of the uterus are fully cleared. A local anesthetic to numb the pain and make you semi-conscious is often used. Sometimes, a general anesthetic may be used to put you to sleep, depending upon the medical facility. The D&E procedure is usually 10-45 minutes with at least one hour of recovery time afterwards.

Deciding to abort a pregnancy is seldom a decision made lightly. No one should pressure you into making a decision about your pregnancy. This includes the father, family, friends, counselors, etc. And sometimes, the greatest pressure comes from ourselves. If you would like to talk to someone about your decision, thoughts, emotions, or ask medical questions at any time, the caring counselors at Support Circle are available to listen and to provide non-judgmental emotional support before and after the pregnancy decision for the coming year. Our nurses can confirm your pregnancy test results, provide you with pregnancy verification and assist with dating the pregnancy during an ultrasound.

Call or visit one of our three medical clinics in San Francisco, Oakland and Redwood City. All appointments are confidential and free of charge.

Support Circle is dedicated to providing women with a safe place as they make a decision about their pregnancy and not to profit from any medical procedures resulting from that decision. For this reason, Support Circle provides information about abortion procedures to our clients, but does not perform or refer for abortion. We do not operate as an adoption agency.  We do not perform or refer for labor and delivery.

Why is my period late?

Pregnancy Symptoms

Pregnancy Options

Is the Abortion Pill and the Morning After Pill the same?

 

 

References:

  1. http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm111323.htm
  2. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm088643.pdf
  3. http://www.rhtp.org/Abortion/mifepristone/default.asp
  4. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/429755_3

 

Image posed by model.

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Is the Abortion Pill and the Morning After Pill the same?

Is the Abortion Pill and the Morning After Pill the same?

What is the “Abortion Pill?” Is the Abortion Pill and the “Morning After Pill” the same? The Abortion Pill and Morning After Pill are not the same medication and they each function very differently. This article is intended for informational purposes so that you can differentiate between the Morning After Pill and the Abortion Pill.

The Morning After Pill, also commonly known as Plan B, is a popular name for numerous brands of birth control pills that contain the hormone Levonorgestrel. These pills can be used to prevent ovulation and do not harm an existing pregnancy when taken as directed. In California, a prescription is not required to obtain birth control pills. To read more about the Morning After Pill, click here.

The Abortion Pill is a drug called Mifepristone, Mifeprex, or RU486 and is available by prescription only. Mifepristone, when used in combination with Misoprostol, disrupts an existing pregnancy (but not if the pregnancy is an ectopic pregnancy—a different procedure or medication will be needed). It is now approved for use up to 70 days (10 weeks) from a woman’s last menstrual period to terminate an early pregnancy. Mifepristone is obtained, with a doctor’s prescription only, at your local pharmacy such as Walgreens pharmacy, CVS pharmacy or Target pharmacy.

Disrupting an existing pregnancy is a two-part regimen when using these pills. Mifepristone, or Mifeprex, is an anti-progesterone that ends a pregnancy by blocking the uterine wall receptors to the hormone progesterone. This causes the lining of the uterine walls to shed like they do during a menstrual cycle. It also softens and dilates the cervix, thus facilitating abortion.

Misoprostol is used to help expel the pregnancy. Misoprostol is a prostaglandin that induces uterine contractions and softens and dilates the cervix. It is used approximately two days after taking Mifepristone to complete the abortion process. When used in combination with Mifepristone, abortion is complete approximately 97% of the time.

After taking the Mifepristone and Misoprostol regimen, it is common to experience pelvic cramping and vaginal bleeding and spotting, including the expelling of tissue and blood clots for an average of 9-16 days. It is also common to experience nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches, fever, chills, weakness, and diarrhea.

A follow-up visit 7-14 days after taking the abortion pill regimen is very important to ensure there is no tissue left behind and that the abortion occurred successfully. In the event Mifepristone has not worked, as determined by an ultrasound during the follow-up visit, a woman will discuss her options with her provider.

For women considering using the abortion pill but who would like to meet in person with a registered nurse or trained counselor to discuss personal questions, we recommend visiting one of our three Support Circle clinics in San Francisco, Oakland and Redwood City. All appointments are confidential and free.

Support Circle provides information about the abortion pill and morning after pill but does not prescribe or dispense these medications.

Links:

Morning After Pill – An Overview of Emergency Contraception

Plan B Emergency Contraceptive

Ella Emergency Contraceptive

Combination Pill Emergency Contraceptive

 

References:

  1. http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm111323.htm
  2. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm088643.pdf
  3. http://www.rhtp.org/Abortion/mifepristone/default.asp
  4. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/429755_3
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She’s No Stranger

video-shesnostranger3

 

In honor of someone you know that has been touched by an unplanned pregnancy, watch this exciting new 60-second video and share it with your friends and family on social media and email.  This is the perfect way to anonymously honor her.  She’s our sister, our daughter, our friend.  She is us!

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Period Tracker Apps and Fertility Tracker Apps

Period Tracker Apps and Fertility Tracker Apps

Keeping track of your period seems simple enough. Sometimes though, keeping track of your period can be anything but simple. Smart phone and tablet apps (for iOS and Android) can make it easy for women

Period Diary Pro

Period Diary Pro

to track their period and fertility. They can help predict your cycles and monitor your mood, symptoms, weight, and temperature

Tracker apps enable women to record their periods, see their peak fertile days, track intimate moments, record PMS symptoms and record notes pertaining to their health. Some apps have period and ovulation predictors and maintain a record of dates of most recent cycles – very handy when the nurse or doctor asks when your last period began. Other apps enable women to connect with other women around the world. Period and fertility tracker apps may not be foolproof but they certainly help women to be more knowledgeable about their monthly cycles and their bodies.

Who can benefit from period/fertility tracker apps?

ALL women that experience a menstrual period. Young women new to menstruating can track their cycles and start to see trends. Women using the natural family planning method can record temperature readings and see exactly when their fertile window may begin and end. Women in peri-menopause can track their sporadic periods. Period and fertility tracker apps can help if you want to get pregnant or if you do not want to become pregnant right now. Find the app that works best for you and fits in your budget.

Period Tracker Apps

Many period tracker apps are available at no cost to the user. Versions without ads that may offer additional functionality range from $0.99 to $3.99. The most common period tracker apps include: Clue, Period Tracker, and Life – Period Tracker. Other common period tracker apps are: Cycles, Eve, Menstrual Period Tracker, Monthly Cycles, My Calendar, Period Calendar, Period Diary, Pink Pad, and more.

Fertility Tracker Apps

Apps specific to fertility tracking tend to be more expensive than period tracker apps. Some are touted as fertility monitors that have attachments and high tech readings. Fees range from $0 to $375. Some have monthly rate plans. The most common period tracker apps include: Fertility Friend, Glow, and Kindara. Other common fertility apps are: Clue, Conceivable, Daysy, Maybe Baby, Natural Cycles, OvaCue, Ovia, Period Tracker, and more.

Questions About Your Period?

Period and fertility tracker apps can be a wonderful tool to help you. If you have questions about your menstrual cycle or would like to talk one-on-one with a nurse, click here. You can also schedule an appointment at one of our medical clinics in Oakland, Redwood City or San Francisco.

 

Pregnancy Symptoms

Why is my period late?

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Combination Pill Emergency Contraceptive

Combination Pill – Emergency Contraceptive

What is the Combination Pill emergency contraceptive?

Combination Pill Emergency Contraceptive

Combination Pill Emergency Contraceptive

The “Morning After Pill” is a common name for the most popular type of emergency contraceptive. Emergency contraceptives or emergency birth control (EC) is used to reduce the chance of a woman getting pregnant after she has had sex without using birth control, during the fertile days while using natural family planning, or if the birth control method failed. While some EC methods may be taken as much as 3-5 days after unprotected sex, EC is most effective when taken as soon as possible (i.e. within a few hours).

The Combination Pill (CP) contains a combination of the hormones levonorgestrel (progestin) and ethinyl estradiol (estrogen) found in regular birth control pills. Certain brands of the birth control pill can be used as a CP for emergency contraception. When taken as a back-up oral contraceptive method, CP is to be used as soon as possible, but no more than five days (120 hours), after unprotected sex or contraception failure, to reduce the chance of pregnancy. Emergency contraceptives do not protect against HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases.

In California, women of any age are legally able to purchase the Combination Pill at a pharmacy with a pharmacist consultation but without a prescription. However, as of July 2016, many of the larger pharmacies including CVS and Walgreens are not yet ready to begin this new process. Ask your local San Francisco Bay Area pharmacy if they are able to dispense CP without a prescription.

How does the Combination Pill work?

The Combination Pill is actually a number of regular birth control pills that are taken in multiple doses. The number of pills to take at one time and how many times they are to be taken depends on the type or brand of pill you have. Ask (or consult) with your doctor or a pharmacist to see how to use your combination pill for emergency contraception. When used for emergency contraception, Combination Pills are not as effective as progestin only pills such as Plan B One Step or Next Choice One Dose. Combination Pills are safe for almost any woman to use, even women who are not able to take the birth control pill on a regular basis.

The main function of levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol combined is to prevent or delay ovulation (i.e. to stop the egg from releasing), to block fertilization of the egg, or to prevent the egg from attaching (implantation) to the wall of the uterus (womb). The latest scientific research shows that FDA approved ECPs containing levonorgestrel or ulipristal acetate do not inhibit the implantation of a fertilized egg. ECPs stop pregnancy by keeping the egg from leaving the ovary or keeping the sperm from joining the egg. CP will not stop or harm an embryo that has already implanted. If you are already pregnant, emergency contraception will not work. It is not the abortion pill.

The Combination Pill as an emergency contraceptive works before ovulation occurs so if you have unprotected sex after ovulation, taking CP may not stop a pregnancy. If you have unprotected sex in the days or weeks after the use of CP, there is a risk of becoming pregnant.

Is the Combination Pill the same as the birth control pill?

The Combination Pill is the same as the birth control pill. However, it is a common misconception that you can simply double up your birth control pill. The truth is that you need to achieve a certain level of levenorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol to be considered an effective emergency contraceptive. Not all birth control pills can be used as EC. The brands of birth control pills that can be used as emergency contraceptive pills, due to the levels of levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol they contain, include: Altavera, Amethia, Camrese, Enpresse, Introvale, Jolessa, Lessina, Levora, Lutera, Nordette, Ogestrel, Portia, Quasense, Seasonale, Sronyx, Trivora, but there are many more brands. Your doctor can inform you of the exact dosage and at what frequency you will need to take the CP based on the brand and hormone levels in your birth control pill.

Are there side effects of the Combination Pill?

Side effects of the emergency contraceptive pill may include nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain or cramps, breast tenderness, headache, dizziness, and fatigue (tiredness). Your period may be delayed, come sooner, be heavier or lighter than normal. These side effects usually do not occur for more than a few days after taking the medication. If vomiting occurs within one hour of taking the pill, contact your doctor to see if you need to repeat the dose. If your period is more than one week late, you may be pregnant.

Important: If you become pregnant or experience severe abdominal pain and/or bleeding 3-5 weeks after taking the emergency contraceptive pill, you may have an ectopic pregnancy (the egg has implanted outside the uterus). Since ectopic pregnancies may be life threatening, you should seek immediate medical attention.

How do I know if I should be concerned?

You should be concerned about an unintended pregnancy if you had sex and your birth control failed (i.e. condom broke, diaphragm not inserted correctly, during the fertile days while using natural family planning, etc.), if you did not use contraception, or if you missed/forgot to take your birth control pill(s). If you had sex and think that you may be at risk of pregnancy, chat with our nurse online or schedule an appointment at one of our three Bay Area Support Circle clinics in Oakland, Redwood City, or San Francisco. We offer free pregnancy tests and same day appointments.

Support Circle provides information about emergency contraceptives but does not prescribe or dispense these medications.

Chat with a Nurse

Schedule an appointment

Morning After Pill

Ella – Emergency Contraceptive

Plan B – Emergency Contraceptive

 

References:

  1. http://ec.princeton.edu/info/combecp.html
  2. https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a601050.html

 

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Ella Emergency Contraceptive

Ella –  Emergency Contraceptive / Morning After Pill

What is Ella?

The “Morning After Pill” is a common name for the most popular type of emergency contraceptive. Emergency contraceptives or emergency birth control (EC) is used to reduce the chance of a woman becoming pregnant after she has had unprotected sex without using birth control, during the fertile days while using natural family planning, or if the birth control method failed. EC is most effective when taken as soon as possible (within a few hours). Emergency contraceptives will not protect against HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Ella Emergency Contraceptive

Ella Emergency Contraceptive

Ella is a single dose emergency contraceptive pill (ECP). It is a back-up oral contraceptive method to be used as soon as possible, but no more than five days after unprotected sex or contraception failure, to reduce the chance of pregnancy. Currently, there is not a generic version for Ella in the United States.

The Ella brand pill requires a visit to a doctor to obtain a prescription. This is true even in California where women of any age are legally able to purchase emergency contraceptive pills at a pharmacy (i.e. CVS, Target, Walgreens, Rite-Aid) with a pharmacist consultation but without a prescription.

How does it work?

Ella contains a drug called ulipristal acetate (ulipristal). Ulipristal works by preventing ovulation (egg does not release) for five full days following unprotected sex. That’s important because sperm can live for five days in a woman’s reproductive tract. Ella’s ability to prevent or delay ovulation does not decrease over the five-day period following when you take it. Most emergency contraceptives are only approved for three-days use.

The latest scientific research shows that FDA approved ECPs containing levonorgestrel or ulipristal acetate do not inhibit the implantation of a fertilized egg. ECPs stop pregnancy by keeping the egg from leaving the ovary or keeping the sperm from joining the egg. Ella will not stop or harm an embryo that has already implanted. If you are already pregnant, it will not work. It is not the abortion pill.

Do not use Ella more than once in a menstrual cycle. Ella works before ovulation occurs so if you have unprotected sex after ovulation, taking Ella may not stop a pregnancy. If you have unprotected sex in the days or weeks after the use of Ella, there is a risk of becoming pregnant.

Are there side effects?

Side effects of Ella may include nausea, abdominal pain or cramps, headache and dizziness. Your period may be delayed, come sooner, be heavier or lighter than normal. If your period is more than one week late, you may be pregnant. You should not use Ella if you are breastfeeding.

Important: If you become pregnant or experience severe abdominal pain and/or bleeding 3-5 weeks after taking the emergency contraceptive pill, you may have an ectopic pregnancy (the egg has implanted outside the uterus). Since ectopic pregnancies may be life threatening, you should seek immediate medical attention.

How do I know if I should be concerned?

You should be concerned about an unintended pregnancy if you had sex and your birth control failed (i.e. condom broke, diaphragm not inserted correctly, during the fertile days while using natural family planning, etc.), if you did not use contraception, or if you missed/forgot to take your birth control pill(s). If you had sex and think that you may be at risk of pregnancy, chat with our nurse online or schedule an appointment at one of our three Bay Area Support Circle clinics in Oakland, Redwood City, and San Francisco. Support Circle offers free pregnancy tests and same day appointments.

 

Chat with a Nurse

Schedule an Appointment

Morning After Pill

Plan B Emergency Contraceptive

 

References:

  1. http://www.ellanow.com/
  2. http://ec.princeton.edu/info/ecp.html

 

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Plan B Emergency Contraceptive

Plan B –  Emergency Contraceptive / Morning After Pill

What is Plan B?

The “Morning After Pill” is a common name for the most popular type of emergency contraceptive. Emergency contraceptives or emergency birth control (EC) is used to reduce the chance of a woman getting pregnant after she has had sex without using birth control, during the fertile days while using natural family planning, or if the birth control method failed. While some EC methods may be taken as much as 3-5 days after unprotected sex, EC is most effective when taken as soon as possible (i.e. within a few hours).

Plan B Emergency Contraceptive

Plan B Emergency Contraceptive

There are several brands of emergency contraceptive pills made with a drug named levonorgestrel, including: Fallback Solo, Next Choice, Opcicon, Plan B One Step and other generic brands. Plan B One Step (Plan B) is one of the most commonly recognized brand names.

Plan B is a back-up oral contraceptive method to be used as soon as possible, but no more than three days (72 hours), after unprotected sex or contraception failure, to reduce the chance of pregnancy. Emergency contraceptives do not protect against HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases. Plan B and generic emergency contraceptive pills containing progestin only are available over-the-counter without a prescription.

How does it work?

Levonorgestrel is a hormone known as a progestin. Brands such as Plan B contain this hormone at a higher dose than birth control pills. The main function of levonorgestrel is to prevent or delay ovulation (i.e. to stop the egg from releasing), to block fertilization of the egg, or to prevent the egg from attaching (implantation) to the wall of the uterus (womb). The latest scientific research shows that FDA approved ECPs containing levonorgestrel or ulipristal acetate do not inhibit the implantation of a fertilized egg. ECPs stop pregnancy by keeping the egg from leaving the ovary or keeping the sperm from joining the egg. Plan B will not stop or harm an embryo that has already implanted. If you are already pregnant, emergency contraception will not work. It is not the abortion pill.

Plan B can be used more than once during the month. However, it is not an effective regular birth control method to prevent pregnancy because it does not provide lasting protection. Plan B works before ovulation occurs so if you have unprotected sex after ovulation, taking Plan B may not stop a pregnancy. If you have unprotected sex in the days or weeks after the use of Plan B, there is a risk of becoming pregnant.

Are there side effects?

Side effects of the emergency contraceptive pill may include nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain or cramps, breast tenderness, headache, dizziness, and fatigue (tiredness). Your period may be delayed, come sooner, be heavier or lighter than normal. These side effects usually do not occur for more than a few days after taking the medication. If vomiting occurs within two hours of taking the pill, contact your doctor to see if you need to repeat the dose. If your period is more than one week late, you may be pregnant.

Important: If you become pregnant or experience severe abdominal pain and/or bleeding 3-5 weeks after taking the emergency contraceptive pill, you may have an ectopic pregnancy (the egg has implanted outside the uterus). Since ectopic pregnancies may be life threatening, you should seek immediate medical attention.

How do I know if I should be concerned?

You should be concerned about an unintended pregnancy if you had sex and your birth control failed (i.e. condom broke, diaphragm not inserted correctly, during the fertile days while using natural family planning, etc.), if you did not use contraception, or if you missed/forgot to take your birth control pill(s). If you had sex and think that you may be at risk of pregnancy, chat with our nurse online or schedule an appointment at one of our three Bay Area Support Circle clinics in Oakland, Redwood City, and San Francisco. Support Circle offers free pregnancy tests and same day appointments.

Support Circle provides information about but is not a provider of the morning after pill.

Chat with a Nurse

Schedule an appointment

Morning After Pill

Ella – Emergency Contraceptive

 

References:

  1. http://www.planbonestep.com/
  2. http://ec.princeton.edu/info/ecp.html