We’re always here to help. Call us for anything, anytime: (855)-SAY-CARA
For more information or to view your test results, go to My carafem.
If you would like to talk more about your decision, here are some resources that can help:
- Visit All-Options or call 1-888-493-0092. Backline offers confidential and judgment free support before, during or after your abortion.
- Exhale is another resource that offers a free talk-line and confidential emotional support that provides confidential support and counseling after an abortion. Call 1-866-4-EXHALE.
- The National Abortion Federation offers many tools to help you with decide what to do with an unplanned pregnancy and to find a provider closer to you. For unbiased information about abortion, and possible financial assistance, call 1-800-772-9100.
- If you have further questions about birth control options, visit Bedsider or call 1-888-321-0383 for free birth control info. There are many options available to you!
- Click here to download our client brochure on the abortion pill.
- Click here to download our client brochure on birth control options.
For detailed info about birth control options, check out bedsider.org/methods.
Need more birth control options in your life? At carafem, we’ve got you covered.
Here are all of the options (and costs) that we offer:
|Condoms (male)||$6 / dozen|
|Birth control pills||$12 / month|
|Depo Provera (the shot)||$75 / injection|
|Emergency contraception (EC)||$20 / each|
|Abortion pill||$400 / one time|
|Intrauterine contraceptive (IUC/IUD)||fees vary (check with your insurance provider)|
We recommend you start your birth control on the same day as your abortion. If you chose some form of long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC), you also should have received instructions on how to obtain this method at carafem.
Although your period may not come several weeks after taking the abortion pill, you can get pregnant right away. If you want to avoid this, it is important to start using birth control even if you are still seeing some bleeding. carafem offers a range of birth control methods including oral contraceptives, contraceptive injections, condoms, and information about implants and IUCs (formerly known as IUDs).
How to start your pills
After your abortion, you don’t need to wait for your next period to take your birth control pills: you can start them at any time, the sooner the better.
We recommend you start your pills on the same day as your abortion, or within the first week so you’re protected as soon as possible.
3 Ways to Remember to Take Your Pill
- Set an alarm on your phone
- Check it off on your calendar
- Sign up for text or email reminders
Just think: Birth control pills are 91% effective with typical use, but are 99% effective with perfect use.
Stay on track – Take one pill ever day at the same time until you finish an entire pack.
What do I do if I miss a pill?
The pill works best if you take it every day, but sometimes you may forget. Don’t panic! If you miss a pill, take it as soon as you realized it was late. There can be an increased risk of pregnancy when you miss pills so you may want to keep some back up birth control, like condoms or emergency contraception pills, around to help keep you protected.
How do I make sure I am protected?
There are two types of pills, Combination pills and Progestin-only pills (see below).
If you are taking Progestin-Only pills (about 1% of pill users in the U.S.) taking it at the same time every day is especially important. Even if you are a couple hours late you need to use a back up method for at least 48 hours and there are NO “sugar pills.”
Always take your pills as soon as you realize it’s late. If you are taking Combination pills (most people do) you are not at risk until you are over 24 hours late.
If you forget your pill, you will need to take 2 pills on one day (today’s pill and the one you missed). Take the first pill right away and the second at its normal time. If you take 2 at once, you may want to eat with your pills to prevent an upset stomach. You should plan to use a back up method of birth control (like a condom) if you have sex anytime in the 7 days after being a day late or more with a pill.
If you forget to take 2 of your pills for 2 days, take 2 pills the next day, remember (with food). Then take one pill per day through the end of the pack, and be sure to use a back up method of birth control for 7 days if you have sex.
Most combination pills have three weeks of active medicine and one week of “sugar” pills that you take during the week you will have your period. The riskiest time to become pregnant when missing pills is at the start of your new pack and the third week of pills right before your period. If you miss more than 2 pills in the third week of pills, you should start a new pack of pills the fourth week instead of taking the “sugar” pills. Keep taking your pill every day whether you get your period or not.
Emergency Contraception (EC) as a back up to your birth control.
If you have unprotected sex within five days of late pills you can take EC to further reduce your risk of pregnancy. Keep taking your birth control pills even after the EC and use a condom if you have intercourse for the full 7 days after late pills.
KEEP IN MIND
Combination Pills: Most birth control pills are combination pills, meaning they are a combination of estrogen and progesterone.
Progestin-only Pills: These pills do not have estrogen in them and you have less flexibility if you miss your pills. This means: same time every day and using back up methods even if you took it a couple hours late.
Emergency contraception is like our little back-up friend who is the last line of defense against pregnancy. If you’re not on any type of preventative birth control, you can still protect yourself in the heat of the moment. Use a condom, or diaphragm, or enjoy outercourse (other activities other than vaginal sex). If none of these things happen, look to this famous back-up method: EC. (Sometimes you forget to take your pills, or you forget a condom, or you just need some peace of mind – whatever it is, EC can help.)
The “morning after pill,” Plan B, or what we call emergency contraception (EC) is an awesome resource to take after sex to prevent pregnancy.
There are some EC options: over-the-counter (non-prescription), prescription, or the copper IUC. You can take EC up to five days (or 120 hours) after unprotected sex but effectiveness decreases each day if you are taking over-the-counter EC (like what you received at carafem, or Plan B One-Step, Next Choice One Dose, and My Way).
Ella, the newest form of EC, is available by prescription and it works up to 5 days, like other EC pills. Most importantly, it does not decrease in effectiveness during those 5 days.
Getting a copper IUC (brand name Paragard), is the most effective EC. It lowers your chance of pregnancy by 99.9%! However, it requires making an appointment and having a provider insert it. Please contact us as soon as possible if you are interested in using a copper IUC as EC.
Your birth control not working for you? Find out what other options you have to prevent pregnancy.
It’s been more than 5 days since your unprotected moment? Think you’re already pregnant? You still have options. Read more information about emergency contraception.
What is Depo Provera?
Depo Provera, DMPA, or “the shot” contains a progestin. This is similar to the hormone progesterone, which is naturally produced by the female body. DMPA is given by injection every 12 weeks and is slowly absorbed into the blood stream to prevent pregnancy. Depo-Provera is the brand name of DMPA.
How does DMPA work?
DMPA works by:
- preventing ovulation (egg release from the ovary)
- thickening of the mucus of the cervix so that sperm cannot enter the uterus (womb)
How effective is DMPA?
DMPA is up to 99% effective. This means that of 100 women using DMPA consistently over a year, it is possible that 1 woman may become pregnant.
What are the advantages of DMPA as a method of contraception?
- long acting, highly effective method of contraception
- does not require daily pill taking
- suitable for women who can’t take contraceptives containing estrogen
What are the disadvantages of DMPA as a method of contraception?
DMPA changes bleeding/period patterns. It is not possible to predict which changes will occur, but they can include:
- most commonly, periods stop completely after the first or second injections
- irregular or spot bleeding
- prolonged bleeding (this is usually light, however can cause inconvenience to women)
- heavy bleeding (rare)
What are the possible side effects of DMPA?
DMPA has few side effects. However, side effects may include:
- small weight gain in some women
- change in sexual interest
- mood changes
DMPA use is associated with a slight loss of bone density, but this loss is largely reversible once DMPA use finishes. The injection is long acting and if side effects occur they may last up to 3 months (it is not possible to reverse the effects of an injection once it is given).
For more information or to report an adverse event, you can call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
The Difference between Emergency Contraception and the Abortion Pill.
Both emergency contraception and abortion pill (medical abortion), are excellent resources should you find yourself with an unintended situation.
Whether the condom broke, you forgot to take some birth control pills, you’re a little late getting your shot, or maybe you didn’t know what birth control to use. Things happen. You still have options: emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy, or the abortion pill for if you have become pregnant and you don’t want to be.
There are some key differences between the two methods. Here’s a chart to map out those differences and help you figure out your next steps.
The most important difference: have you just had sex and are looking for a way to prevent pregnancy? Look to emergency contraception. Or have you already taken a pregnancy test that says you’re pregnant, and you don’t want to be? Look to the abortion pill.
|The Important Questions||Emergency Contraception (EC)||Medical Abortion (Abortion Pill)|
|What are we talking about?||Otherwise known as the “morning after pill” or Plan B||Also known as medication abortion or RU486|
|When is it most effective?||Works up to 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected sex||Taken within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy|
|How does it work?||Prevents pregnancy by either preventing an egg from being released or allowing a fertilized egg to pass through the uterus without implanting||Stops pregnancy growth and stimulates uterus to cramp, bleed, and expel pregnancy|
|Are there different kinds?||There are 4 different types of EC including Copper IUD, Ella, Levonorgestrel Based Pills||A combination of two different medications: mifepristone and misoprostol|
|Does it cause an abortion?||EC works before a pregnancy test will register positive: within 5 days after sex.||Yes.|
|How do I get it?||Can buy it over the counter from your drugstore||Must got to a trained provider at a clinic or health center|
|How much does it cost?||Levonorgestrel Pills: $25 at Carafem||$400 at Carafem|
|What are the side effects?||Irregular bleeding, headaches, nausea||Bleeding, cramping – similar to a miscarriage|
|Is it safe?||Yes||Yes|
Just for Teens
Finding out you’re pregnant:
If you had vaginal sex and you haven’t gotten your period since, it may be a good idea to get a pregnancy test.
Some potential signs of pregnancy:
- Missing your period
- Breast tenderness
- Nausea, vomiting
Finding out you’re pregnant can cause a lot of different reactions. It may be helpful to take some time to really process what is happening, and then to reach out to a support person to help talk through some of your options.
In addition to our services, there are several online resources we recommend:
Deciding on abortion:
Carafem supports you no matter what you choose. You can call us anytime to discuss what you’re going through and we can help you plan and prepare for next steps—judgment free and with clear information.
Some questions to think about:
- How do you feel about being pregnant? Do you want to have a baby? Is this the right time to be responsible for a child?
- What are your values around when and how you would like to be a parent?
- Would you be able to take care of a baby? Would you be able to afford it?
- Would you have a support system to help raise this child?
- What will happen to your goals, hopes, and overall life path?
- Would you still be able to go to school? Participate in activities or clubs? Go to college? Or pursue the kind of career you want?
- How will this affect my other children?
If you are thinking about abortion, making your decision within the first 10 weeks will make it a safer, less expensive, and easier process.
Additionally, consider some laws that may be in your state such as parental notification or consent.
Talking to an adult:
Telling an adult, especially your parents, “I’m pregnant” and/or “I want an abortion”, may seem like the hardest conversation you will ever have. If you need help, carafem can be with you throughout this process.
Some quick pointers:
- Choose the right time
- Keep calm and stick to the facts.
- Keep in mind: being uncomfortable is only temporary—you will have to move forward one way or another.
- They may take some time to process, like you did.
- You know what’s best for yourself, but it can be helpful to involve a supportive person to help think things through.
Check out these links for more tips: