Can You Use Emergency Contraception As Birth Control Instead Of Condoms?

planb

Hey Heather,

My boyfriend and I are planning to have sex for the first time quite soon. We’ve been planning it for quite a few months and we know what we’re doing. It’s just that he has suggested not using a condom, and instead, using emergency contraception (Plan B). Is this okay? We’re both virgins, but I don’t want to take the risk of pregnancy. It’s not worth it.

I’m really glad to hear that you and your boyfriend have discussed having sex for a while. It’s great that you’re not rushing into anything. However, your boyfriend is wrong here. Using emergency contraception as a form of birth control instead of condoms is not okay.

There’s a reason this pill has names like emergency contraception, Plan B, and the morning-after pill – that’s because it’s meant to be used as a last resort, not as your regular means of birth control. It was never intended to be used on a fairly regular basis – it was only intended to be something women take to prevent a possible pregnancy if they, for some reason, don’t use birth control when having sex.

While emergency contraception is safe to use when absolutely needed, they aren’t very safe to use all the time. Using Plan B too often can result in some annoying side effects, like menstrual irregularities. There are no known health risks associated with using it too often, but researchers and doctors admit that there are not enough long-term studies done on the situation to say for sure. Also, when taking emergency contraception such as Plan B, some women may experience annoying side effects like nausea, vomiting, being very tired, and really bad cramps (of course, it affects everyone differently). Why would you want to subject yourself to that each time you have sex?

You also can’t forget that emergency contraception does not protect against STDs or STIs. I know you’re saying that you and your boyfriend are both virgins, but there are other ways to contract STD’s besides having sex – and unless you’ve both been tested recently, you should use a form of birth control that protects you both.

Putting aside the side effects of emergency contraception, you also have to think about the price. Depending on which kind you buy and where you buy it, it can cost anywhere between $30 – $65. So, say you have sex five times in two weeks – that money adds up quickly! Emergency contraception is the most effective when taken immediately after having unprotected sex, so using it every few times comes with a big risk of pregnancy.

The bottom line is that substituting condoms with emergency contraception is a bad idea. You are much better off buying condoms. They’re cheaper, they’re the only form of birth control that protects against diseases and pregnancy, and they don’t have side effects! If you’re really worried about getting pregnant, start taking birth control pills or using an IUD. The best way to protect yourself against unwanted pregnancy is using condoms and a method of birth control. If you do this, you won’t have to worry about taking emergency contraception at all!

take care,
Heather

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