Using Emergency Contraception (while on the Pill)
Hey doctor! Hope your week is going well.
My boyfriend and I have been seeing each other for about 15 months and we have sex regularly. He always uses a condom and I’ve been on the pill (Ortho Tri-Cyclin) since I was 14, and I’m almost 21 now.
A couple times the condom has broken and we are pretty paranoid about not having kids. Each time it has, I always went to the pharmacy to get the Plan B pill. My boyfriend begs me to get it every time the condom fails, but I don’t really think it’s necessary since I’m already on the pill. Plus, emergency contraception is expensive. This is only happened twice, but I don’t know if it’s dangerous for me to keep taking Plan B when I’m already on the pill
If the condom ever breaks again, should I take emergency contraception just to be safe? Do you think it’s necessary since I’m on the pill? Can taking Plan B multiple times mess up my hormones? Thanks for your help :)
Dear Uterus Securitus,
Let’s put this into terms that your boyfriend will understand easily.
- Using a condom (male or female) when the female is already faithfully using a hormonal contraceptive (pill, patch, ring, implant, IUD, etc) is like wearing a belt along with a pair of suspenders. Not strictly necessary, but it can’t hurt.
- Requiring that same woman to also take emergency contraception (such as Plan B, which is just a double/triple-dose of the same hormones that are in The Pill) if the condom breaks is like using a nail gun to make sure the pants are securely attached to your hip bones.
Seriously, though, it’s major overkill! In fact, even if you had already missed 1 dose of your daily pill prior to having The Condom-Destroying Sex, most literature does NOT recommend taking Plan B in that situation either!
Fun fact: in countries/cultures/situations where an Emergency Contraception (EC) pill isn’t available/allowed/whatever after unprotected sex, certain types of The Daily Pill can be MacGyvered into acting as Emergency Contraception by taking extra doses at certain time periods. Some details on that here.
Taking Plan B multiple times in your life won’t “mess up your hormones” or do any lasting damage to you, but if you’re taking it simultaneously with a daily hormonal pill, you will be exposing your body to more hormones overall, which I never recommend if it can be avoided.
In summary: the only extra pill needed in this situation is a chill pill. For your boyfriend. :)
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