What is Emergency Contraception

Emergency Contraception   What is it? Emergency contraception is any type of birth control used after unprotected intercourse or contraception failure has occurred. There are three types of emergency contraception: Plan B One-Step®, Ella®, and ParaGard (copper IUD). Your body and health are important, so take time to make an informed decision for you. How does emergency contraception work? Plan B One-Step® contains a high dose of lovonorgestrel. This is a hormone typically found in hormonal birth control pills though at much lower doses. It works by stopping ovulation, preventing fertilization (when the sperm meets the egg), and implantation (attachment to the endometrium). Ella® is a prescription medication which contains ulipristal. This inhibits or delays ovulation and can alter the endometrium (lining of the uterus) which effects implantation. ParaGard contains copper which is toxic to sperm and the ovum (egg). When ParaGard is inserted before ovulation it prevents fertilization and when inserted after ovulation it prevents implantation. ParaGard is a prescription and must be inserted and removed by a doctor. What is ovulation? Ovulation is when a mature egg (oocyte) is released from one ovary. A study, published in the National Library of Medicine, showed that most women ovulate on day 12-13 of their period cycle and are considered fertile. Sperm can live in a woman’s body for 2-5 days after intercourse. An egg lives for about 4-12 hours and will only continue to live and grow if fertilized by a sperm. A fertile window is determined when sperm can reach the egg which can only occur during ovulation. You can determine when ovulation occurs based on cervical mucous discharge. Why is ovulation important? These forms of emergency contraception will only work if taken when you are ovulating. Taking emergency contraception when you are not ovulating needlessly exposes you to the high dose of hormones and cost. Is emergency contraception effective? One study conducted by Plan B One-Step® found that 84% of pregnancies were prevented. Drug marketers claim that 7 out of 8 women who would have gotten pregnant did not. These numbers is based on the estimation of ovulation might have occurred and not actual pregnancies. Is emergency contraception considered an abortion? It depends on how you define the start of life. Some believe that pregnancy begins when the fertilized egg implants in the uterus wall. The scientific reality is that at contraception (when a sperm meets an egg) growth and many life defining qualities are determined in that moment like gender, eye and hair color. Both Plan B One-Step®, Ella®, and ParaGard may prevent the newly formed life to implant in the endometrium (uterine wall) which many consider this an early form of abortion because the start of life begins at contraception. Ella® is considered a category X drug which means it is contraindicated to be used in pregnancy. During lab testing Ella® caused abortions to animals,...

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Pro-Woman

Recently I went on a business trip to California with my husband. I thought it would be a great time to get away and soak in some California sun vs. Maine sun! We went to the usual conferences and dinners. Interestingly enough there was opportunity to share about ABBA, A Women’s Resource Center even at these events. People would ask what I did for work and I explained I was a Registered Nurse.  And of course the next question was what kind of nursing do you do? I love this question. It allows me to really share ABBA and our love for people. It always surprise me how interested people are to hear about ABBA.  As an RN and working in the women’s health field it is so much more common to hear people talk about women’s rights, and how abortion options flow freely from physicians’ mouths to patient ears. Sometimes during these opportunities I find myself holding my breath waiting for the negative comments to start but typically I find the interest to be welcoming and curious. I explain that ABBA is a non-profit Christian organization offering free services. Our medical clinic offers FREE pregnancy testing, FREE limited STI testing, FREE limited obstetrical ultrasounds (all performed by our licensed and trained RN’s), options counseling and abortion information. Our support services offered include our Teen Parenting programs, Parenting courses, Pre-Natal courses and education,  Abortion Recovery program, Sexual Integrity programs, to name a few! We offer referrals and resources (including adoption referrals and info) for a variety of organizations in our area that help with many challenges of pregnancy and parenting. I like to call what I do Pro-woman. What is Pro-woman? It is shutting out the voices of the world. This includes friends, family, co-workers and sitting down and having a one-on-one conversation with a woman who is struggling. Discussing the now:  work, stresses, stressors, support, living situations, financial pressures, church, spiritual life, nutrition and much more. Discussing all three options of a pregnant woman:  parenting, adoption, and abortion. It is making a pros and cons list and discussing consequences of all decisions. It is giving ALL the information. It is crying, laughing, hugging, praying, celebrating and mourning together. Pro-woman is throwing out all my judgments and expectations and walking into this clinic praying that God’s love will shine through me and his words will be heard. It is sharing hope to hopeless women who may have had one or more abortions and are struggling inside. That desperate need to lean on someone to share this burden and not feel condemned but to know there is compassion.  It is the intimate moment of holding hands with another woman in deep sorrow and praying to a God who cares. Praying not just for her decision with her pregnancy, but for ALL of her- her family, job, faith and courage. We...

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Is There an Abortion in Your Past?

There are studies that have been done that show that 50 percent of women who have had an abortion will suffer from some type of emotional trauma. This trauma could possibly manifest itself in the form of abusive relationships, drug and alcohol abuse, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder “Abortion Risks: A List of Major Psychological Complications Related to Abortion,” 2011. Post abortion syndrome is a series of disorders that are a result of the emotional pain experienced when the nervous system is traumatized by an abortion. Symptoms may not appear all together nor will each woman/man possess all of them. If you find that you experience between 5-7 of the following emotions, following an abortion, you might consider seeking help for post abortion stress/trauma. abusive behavior alcohol and / or drug use avoids baby reminders (like baby showers, baby stores, etc.) changes in relationship / marriage (70% of relationships/marriages break up within 1 year of an abortion, 90% within 5 years) control issues crying spells difficulty in all types of intimacy divides time into “before” and “after” the abortion eating disorders fails to bond with subsequent children loss of interest in sex loss of normal sources of pleasure marital stress need of financial success over-protective of living children promiscuity or frigidity reduced motivation secretive self-punishing and / or self-degrading behavior sleep disturbances strained relationship with living children suicidal impulses tolerates abusive relationships wants atonement / replacement child withdrawn Note: Sometimes these symptoms happen immediately and sometimes these symptoms may not surface for 5-20 years following the procedure. We offer a 10 week healing support group will all materials provided. If you think you are experiencing these symptoms please give us a call – we can help you can heal! All of our services are free and confidential. New support group starting Monday, July 13th @10 a.m. Give us a call at 207 253-5555 or email us at answergirl@abbapregnancychoice.org to get involved. Reference:...

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