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Birth Control
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Here, Ask EROS has anonymously published questions and answers from or "Ask EROS Program" and "Ask EROS-online." Asked by your fellow students, these questions were answered by our very own counselor(s).

» I just had unprotected sex...today I got my period...
Can I get pregnant when...
» I am pregnant...
» I think that I may be pregnant...

Dear EROS, Three or 4 days ago, I had unprotected sex with my boyfriend, and today I got my period. Is there a chance I still could get pregnant? Signed, Worried

Dear Worried, VERY SLIM! The fact that you got your period means that you were already heading towards the end of your cycle, and most likely ovulations was over with. If your cycles are very short (like under 24 days), we suppose there’s an outside chance, but it’s remote.

In the future, we would suggest that if unprotected sex happens, you avail yourself of ECP (emergency contraception). It has an 89% success rate at preventing unplanned pregnancies. If you are a student here, you can get it easily in the Student Health Center. If you are not a student here, we would recommend you log on to www.ecp-help.org to find a participating pharmacy near you where you can get it.

ECP works best if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, but new evidence shows that there is benefit as long as 120 hours after unprotected sex. So that gives you up to 5 days.

See an EROS counselor if you and your boyfriend are interested in finding a method of contraception you both can live with and enjoy.

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Dear EROS, Hi, I was wondering, how much of a chance is there for one to get pregnant if you don’t use a condom, but the guy doesn’t cum inside you? Signed, J

Dear J, Well, we can’t give you an absolute percentage, as there are a couple of factors need to be considered. If he didn’t cum inside you but near you or near the opening to the vagina, the sperm are still hardy swimmers and if they could make it to the opening, they could swim up. Where are you in your menstrual cycle when this happens? Are you nearer to ovulating or nearer to menstruating? If you are approaching ovulation, there is more risk of unplanned pregnancy. If you are close to your period, there is less risk.

If in doubt, we would encourage you to avail yourself of ECP (emergency contraceptive pills). Taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, they are quite helpful in changing the environment so that you don’t get pregnant. There is new evidence to support their use up to 120 hours after unprotected sex. Come in to the Student Health Center and get it if you need it. If you are not a student, we would suggest going to www.ecp-help.org to find a participating pharmacy near to where you are so you can get ECP.

And since you’ve brought it up, we are also concerned that you might be putting yourself at risk for sexually transmitted diseases. Unless you know an awful lot about your partner’s sexual history (and your own), please consider protecting both of you from STDs, by using condoms.

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Dear EROS, At the current time I am 3 months pregnant, and was wondering does it cost any money to give up your child for adoption? Signed, Wondering

Dear Wondering, No, it does not cost any money to place a baby for adoption. All expenses related to your pregnancy can be covered by the adoptive parents. Actually, as a birth-parent, you pretty much hold all the cards, and get to make lots of choices about your child's future. You have a moral obligation to grow a healthy baby (don't smoke, drink, or take drugs, get prenatal care, etc.). You may also want to provide that child with some letter or memento-- discussing your reasons for making an adoption plan (still in school, too young, whatever), and let the child know that he/she was cared about, but couldn't be taken care of by you.

Beyond that, you may specify what type of parents you would like raising the child, whether you want it to be a first baby or 2nd, 3rd etc. in the family, what religion you'd like the family to be, etc. In an open adoption there is some contact with the adoptive parents. It may be as minimal as exchanging pictures and information about the families, or as much as visiting each other's homes, having them take you to prenatal visits, having them in the delivery room with you, getting letters and pictures on a regular basis, etc.

We would encourage you to contact an attorney or an agency specializing in adoption. We would also encourage you to read a book called "Dear Birthmother, thank you for our Baby," by Kathleen Silber and Phyllis Speedlin. It's a classic, and will really help you, we think. Best of luck with your decision.

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Dear EROS, I think I might be pregnant. I am a sophomore, and I don't want to drop out, I don't want an abortion, and I am very scared of my parents' reaction. My boyfriend is not going to leave me, but he doesn't seem very happy about this. Can you tell us both all of our options so we can start a serious discussion? From, Scared

Dear Scared, The first thing to do is to have a pregnancy test and find out for sure. Many women find themselves in your shoes. The stress of worrying about a missed period will often cause it to be even later! If you come to the Student Health Center, we can run a pregnancy test in just a couple of hours, at no charge. Leave us a urine sample in the morning, and we'll have an answer for you in the afternoon. The next step is to meet with a pregnancy counselor, who will discuss your situation and give you information about your options so you can make an informed choice. In any pregnancy there can be only 3 options:

  • You may continue the pregnancy and become a parent;
  • You may continue the pregnancy and make an adoption plan;
  • Or you may terminate the pregnancy and have an abortion.

Deciding what to do about an unintended pregnancy is deserving of some quality time with a counselor (also no charge for this service). The goal here is to give you enough information so you can make an informed choice that you can live with. We'd like you to be able to look back in five years, and feel certain you did the right thing for that time in your life. We have information and "reality checks" for you. How will your life if you exercise each of these options? How much will it cost? What kind of support network do you have? etc. These are all questions to consider before deciding about your pregnancy. But first get a test and know for sure.

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