Can birth control make me infertile/sterile? What if I started using it when I was young, or have used it for a long time?
Some types of birth control that carafem does not offer, such as tubal ligation, are designed to be permanent, but most methods available today (such as IUD, pills, patch, implant, ring, condoms, etc) will not affect your ability to get pregnant in the future, and many people are able to get pregnant right away after stopping consistent use of their birth control method.
For more information, please check out this link from Bedsider.
Luckily, there are also birth control methods available over the counter (no doctor’s exam or prescription needed) at most drugstores and even grocery stores. Condoms are among the most easily-accessible methods of birth control, as well as the only method that can prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) when used properly. Even if you use a form of birth control such as the pill or IUD, it’s important to also use condoms in order to be protected from STIs.
If you’d like to avoid any possibility of an added few pounds, the copper IUD is an extremely effective form of birth control that last up to 10 years and is totally HORMONE-FREE!
How long does it take to get pregnant once I stop using birth control? What if I've been using my method for a really long time?
Bedsider sums it up here: “Let’s look, for example, at how long it takes for women to get pregnant when they quit the Pill compared to when they quit non-hormonal fertility awareness methods (FAM, sometimes called natural family planning). A big study of over 2,000 women who quit the Pill after using it for an average of seven years found that 21% were pregnant in one month and 79% were pregnant in a year. Women who stopped using FAM had very similar rates of pregnancy, with 20-25% pregnant in one month and 80% pregnant in a year. In other words, women who quit the Pill get pregnant just as fast as other women, even if they’ve used the Pill for years.”
Be sure that you are pregnant and within the 10 week window. You can take a pregnancy test, use our pregnancy calculator, and come in for an ultrasound to confirm.
At your visit, you will meet privately with a clinician who will review your medical history, take a blood test, and an ultrasound. You will then talk about what to expect and how to take the medications. You will then take your first dose of medication in the center and leave with your second dose to take later, at home where you will have the abortion. You will be equipped with a lot of resources for the following days.
- Mifepristone: this drug is an anti-progestin. It works by blocking progesterone, which is needed to maintain and support a pregnancy in its early stages. Without progesterone, the pregnancy stops growing and detaches from the uterine wall.
- Misoprostol: Misoprostol is a prostaglandin, which causes the uterus to contract. This causes uterine bleeding and the expulsion of the embryo from the uterus.
First of all, thank you for being there for this person! It’s wonderful that you want to be available and caring for them. Here are some great resources on how to be a good support person:
What are the benefits of choosing the abortion pill instead of the carafem procedure? What about the disadvantages?
- The abortion pill can be used in the earliest weeks of pregnancy.
- It requires no surgery or anesthesia (and less time in a medical environment).
- It has the potential for greater privacy.
- It allows for more control over your body.
- It is less invasive and may feel more natural.
- The biggest disadvantage for many is that you are still pregnant when you leave our center. Taking the abortion pill requires two steps to be successful and it takes between 24 and 72 hours for most users.
- It often involves heavier bleeding and more intense cramps.
- The pill option is only available up to 10 weeks after your missed period. If you are further along than this, the pill is not for you — but there are other options.
Cramping means that your uterus is contracting, and is actually a good sign that the medication is working. Many patients say it wasn’t as heavy as expected. You may pass small or large blood clots. We advise wearing heavy pads, not a tampon, in order to monitor the bleeding. While it is rare, ‘too much bleeding’ is soaking through two pads in two hours. Vomiting and/or diarrhea may also occur. You will have medication that will help with these symptoms. Carafem will provide you with enough information to prepare you for this experience once you leave our center and we are always here to help via phone or chat.
Overall, your experience will remain confidential with only a few limitations: our staff is required to share the results of some positive tests with state health departments and are required to involve the proper authorities if we feel your life/health may be endangered. Your safety is our top priority.
We are always here to help. Please don’t hesitate to reach out!.
After your abortion, your uterus needs time to return to its pre-pregnancy size and shape and this can take several weeks. We advise that you refrain from sex for two weeks to avoid the risk of infection. Research has shown that most people can become pregnant again within as little as two weeks after taking the abortion pill, so we recommend starting birth control as soon as possible.
You should also be aware that your hormone levels have been affected by this process. After your abortion, you will still have the pregnancy hormone, hcG, in your system so you may be feeling a variety of emotions. Many people have said that they were feeling up and down, or felt emotions that they weren’t anticipating. This is actually normal and you’ll feel like yourself again in a couple weeks.
As soon as you feel up to it, you can return to normal activities– going to work or school, etc. Some people feel like they can do this right away and others may need to rest and relax for a day or two. Everybody is different, so do what feels most comfortable for you. Please refrain from any strenuous activities like heavy exercise, lifting, etc. while you are still bleeding. Your body needs time to heal.