Emergency methods of family planning 205
The operation for a man (vasectomy)
The tubes that carry the man’s sperm from his testicles to
his penis are cut. The operation takes only a few minutes to
do, and it does not change the man’s ability to have sex or
to feel sexual pleasure. He still ejaculates (comes), but the here
semen does not have any sperm in it. For about 3 months,
there are still sperm in the tubes, so the couple must use
another method of family planning.
tubes are cut
Emergency methods of family planning
(the ‘morning after’ pill)
Emergency family planning is a way to avoid pregnancy after having unprotected sex.
This method works by taking a larger-than-usual amount of the same birth control
pills that some women take each day to prevent pregnancy. There are also emergency
pills that have the dose in 1 or 2 pills.
These methods work best when the pills are taken as soon as possible, within
5 days of having unprotected sex. The sooner you take the pills after unprotected
sex, the more likely it is you will not get pregnant.
How this works to prevent pregnancy depends on where you are in your monthly
menstrual cycle when you take it. It may prevent you from releasing an egg (see page 75).
Emergency family planning is not the same thing as an abortion, because
if you are already pregnant when you take the pills, your pregnancy will
not stop, and your developing baby will not be harmed. But neither is it a
method you can use for regular family planning. If you are having sex and
do not want to get pregnant, use one of the methods on page 188.
If you cannot swallow pills, or you have problems with nausea and
vomiting, the pills can be put into the vagina where they will be
absorbed into the body.
An intrauterine device (IUD) inserted into the womb up to 5
days after unprotected sex will also prevent a pregnancy. This method
works better than pills, but should be used only by a woman who is
planning to use an IUD for her regular family planning method.
Talk with local health workers about how important it is for women to have
access to emergency family planning. Work with them and local pharmacists to
make emergency family planning available to every woman in your community
who wants it.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007