Pregnancy and parenting are life-changing experiences that should be entered into with thought and care. No form of birth control, including condoms, are 100% effective. In this page, we explore what you need to know about avoiding unplanned pregnancies, and what you can do if you feel you might be at risk. We also explore what it means to have safe sex if you are presently pregnant.
How to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
The only sure-shot way to protect against an unwanted pregnancy is to abstain from sex. Sex is your decision. If your partner is pressuring you into having sex, it may be time to re-evaluate the relationship.
Condoms and hormonal birth control are two most commonly used options to protect against accidental pregnancy.
Morning after pills
If you have had unprotected sex, emergency contraception pills are available that can still prevent the egg from being fertilized. However, it is important to take these pills in a timely manner for it to be effective.
Sex during pregnancy.
Everyone has different and valid emotions on having sex while pregnant. From a medical standpoint, sex during pregnancy is safe for the fetus and does not increase risk of miscarriage or early labour. However, in some cases your physician may advise against it, such as if you have any concerns with your cervix, if you have previously experienced pre-term labour, if you are pregnant in the late stage with twins, and so on.
Protecting against STIs during pregnancy.
It is extremely important to protect yourself from STIs during pregnancy as this could put your child at risk. It is recommended that you should get yourself screened for HIV, Hepatitis B, Chlamydia and Syphilis during the first prenatal visit to the clinic. This holds true even if you have been tested for STIs in the past.
The effects of STIs may include premature birth, low birth weight, stillbirth, pneumonia, blood infection, brain damage, and more.
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