By Karen Keller
So, the condom broke. Or, let’s get real: there was no condom handy and he was just too sexy to pass up. The next morning, sunlight filters through chintzy Venetian blinds, and you pry open your eyes. And then you really wake up.
Uhh. Did I really let him? When was my last period? Could I be pregnant? (Cue phantom labor cramps.)
Option 1 – Plan B
Plan B , the only morning-after medication sold in the U.S., is available over-the-counter for people 18 and over. It was FDA-approved to be made available without a prescription in August 2006. Score, federal government! It’s two pills – the first, taken immediately, the second, 12 hours later.
Plan B is more effective at preventing pregnancy than birth control pills. It’s also slightly cheaper ($10-$45) and therefore a better option for those of us either without health insurance, or still on our parent’s insurance. No health insurance bill means no paper trail for parents and boyfriends to find.
Potentially awkward pharmacy run-in; chance of nausea (under 1 in 4 women feel sick after taking Plan B).
Option 2 – Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills are generally used before you get into a dicey situation, but it can also be used as an emergency contraceptive. You need to start within 120 hours after tthe "incident," but sooner is better. To see how many pills you need to take of different brands, refer to this Planned Parenthood page (scroll down a tiny bit). It’s usually two to five pills. A pack of pills costs $20-$50. Birth control pills still aren’t available over-the-counter, so this option doesn’t make a lot of sense unless you’ve already got them on hand.
Can be taken immediately, in the comfort of your own home (or shoebox apartment).
Slightly less effective (75%) than Plan B (89%). See Planned Parenthood’s page on Effectiveness . Also, more women experience nausea after taking birth control than do after taking Plan B.
Option 3 – Intrauterine Device
Get an intrauterine device inserted by a doctor. It’s a form of birth control – a piece of plastic that’s put up inside the uterus. Reduces risk of pregnancy if inserted within five days by 99.9 percent.
It’s the most effective morning-after method, and it gives you a larger time window to work with. A bonus: It’ll work as birth control for up to 12 years (you can always get it taken out if you want to get preggers).
It’s expensive, costing around $400 for the product ( Para-Guard is the most common brand), including doctor insertion.
The Final Word
Remember that time is of the essence, so ...
By Julie Fishman
Sure, Kanye said that you can live through anything if Magic made it, but that's no excuse to take unnecessary risks. Though Generation Y has been taught about HIV since grade school, 20-29 year olds accounted for nearly a quarter of HIV cases
diagnosed in 2005. Since it seems people were busy passing notes instead of taking them, we’ve outlined the pertinent information below.
HIV is spread through blood, semen, vaginal fluid, pre-ejaculate, and breast milk. It can’t be passed through contact with saliva, tears, sweat, urine, or feces or transmitted via insects.
There are three major routes of transmission:
For more information on HIV transmission, click here .
It may be hard to call a "timeout" in the throws of passion, but doing so could be a matter of life and death. Follow the rules of prevention below to avoid becoming a scary statistic.
By Julie Fishman
We’ve all been there before. Okay, maybe not everybody, but some of us. Not me though—I promise, honey. Anyway, the symptoms are simple: your normal comfy warm urine has been replaced with hellishly hot razor sharp shards of glass. Nothing helps
. You lick salt like a thoroughbred and spend hours in the gym sauna, but that nagging sensation passing from the kidney to the bladder is still there, presaging a pain that shouldn’t be in the one place you never ever want it.
The bad news: It may be a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), chlamydia, or gonorrhea.
The good news: If caught early enough, all three are easy to cure (if a shot to the penis can be defined as easy). Needless to say, using condoms can also solve a lot of issues before they even start (though women are still at risk for getting UTIs from intercourse). Also, note that if you're being treated for any of the “It Hurts When I Pee” conditions, abstain from all sexual contact to avoid reinfection. And now for the fun stuff...
Nothing Kills an Erection Like a Urinary Tract Infection.
Like breasts, UTIs are more common in women than men and account for 8.3 million doctor visits per year in the U.S. The infection is caused when tiny organisms, usually bacteria from the digestive tract, cling to the urethra and multiply like crazy.
In men, an obstruction to urinary flow, such as a kidney stone (fun!) or enlarged prostate (funner!), is often to blame. Women often get it through intercourse with men (thanks guys!). Because a woman’s urethra is close to the vagina and anus, the penis can push bacteria living near the vagina inside during sex.
Infections love to travel, and the body is their dream vacation hotspot. From the urethra or bladder, a UTI can spread to ...