Many people tend to forget that if you’re sexually active, you need to be extra careful and aware about the possibilities of an unplanned pregnancy. Dr Uma Vaidyanathan, Senior Consultant Gynaecologist and Obstetrician, Max Hospital, New Delhi, says these are the ten things you should know about that could potentially lead to an accidental pregnancy.
Overestimating the emergency morning pill: Doctors have increasingly been seeing cases of unplanned pregnancies due to the misuse of the morning after pill. ‘The failure rate of the emergency pill is very high (almost 100% in some cases) and due to misleading advertising by these companies, women have come to believe it can be used regularly to prevent pregnancies,’ says Dr Vaidyanathan.
Using the pull out/withdrawal method: The failure rate of pulling out the penis and ejaculating outside the vagina is as high as 30-40%. This is because your timing might not always be right during intercourse and in some cases, even pre-ejaculation fluid can lead to pregnancy.
Expired condoms: Get rid of old condoms as their quality tends to deteriorate over time and make sure to check the expiry date before using it to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.
Opening the condom packet with your teeth: Be careful while removing the condom from the packet and completely avoid using your teeth or nails as it could puncture the condom.
Using the wrong lubricant: Avoid using oil-based lubricants as it can weaken the latex of the condom and cause the condom to break during sexual intercourse . Instead, use water based lubricants to be on the safer side.
Not putting the condom on the right way: Before putting on the condom, squeeze the top end to ensure no air bubbles are trapped inside as that could lead to the condom breaking or rupturing during intercourse. Also, put on the condom only after the penis fully erect and gently unroll it down the full length of the penis and leave some space at the tip.
The condom was removed too early: Don’t make the mistake of pulling out the condom right after you ejaculate or too early during sex. Keep it on the whole time if you don’t want to become a father and while withdrawing, hold the base of the condom to avoid any leakage.
Not using a condom after a night of heavy drinking: No matter how tempted you might be to have unprotected sex after a night of partying because your partner can’t find a condom, don’t do it. Make your partner buy or find a condom before having sexual intercourse if you have to.
You had unprotected sex during the ‘safe period’: Having sex without a condom right after completing a menstrual cycle is risky though the uterus line has been shed because a sperm can survive for up to 72 hours inside a woman’s body and if your ovulation occurs earlier than usual, it will result in pregnancy.
Not taking oral contraceptives regularly: Before you start taking oral contraceptives, consult your doctor for the correct and accurate prescription and dosage. If you make the mistake of taking your oral contraceptive pills irregularly, it will lead to pregnancy.