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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Our Clinic Days Are Expanding

Exciting changes are happening here at ABBA, A Women’s Resource Center starting the second week of November.  Our clinic days are EXPANDING.   As of October 1st, we have welcomed a second nurse to our staff, Pollyanna Nickerson.  Pollyanna has just completed her nurse sonographer training and is now seeing clients and offering full clinic services on Tuesdays (pregnancy testing, ultrasounds and limited STI testing).  We are so excited to be able to offer you with more days and hours to choose from to meet your needs.  Our clinic will be open for appointments from 10am to 4pm every Tuesday and Wednesday.  Spread the word! To book an appointment, Click Here #ultrasounds  #abba   #pregnancyhelp  #ultrasounds  #pregnant  #pregnancyresourcecenter...

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STI Testing and Treatment

Did you know we offer FREE STI (sexually transmitted infection) testing and treatment here at ABBA, A Women’s Resource Center?  Every Wednesday our clinic is open and available for this service as well as other medical options.  We are also hoping to expand our clinic days to Wednesdays and Thursdays to better accommodate your schedule and give you more flexible appointment times. In this week’s blog I wanted to talk about STI’s and why it may be important for you to be tested. Here at ABBA we offer urine-based testing for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea.  Testing is simple and can be combined with a pregnancy test, if that is needed and results available by the next week.  Treatment is a one-time dose of an antibiotic that we administer here, and is also provided FREE of charge. So, why is getting tested for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea important for YOU? The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) estimates that each year about 3 million people in the US contract chlamydia each year, making it the most common sexually transmitted bacterial infection.  The CDC also estimates that about 820,000 people contract gonorrhea each year.  The highest rates of infections are found in women under the age of 25, particularly those who are 15-19 years old.  About 40% of the time, women who have gonorrhea also have chlamydia. Symptoms of both chlamydia and gonorrhea can be silent, about 75% of women have no symptoms, at all!  But when symptoms are present, the most common complaints are abnormal vaginal discharge, burning or pain during urination, vaginal or cervical inflammation, spotting or pain during sex. Left untreated, these infections can spread and cause serious problems: “Women infected with chlamydia or gonorrhea can develop PID, which, in turn, can lead to reproductive system morbidity such as ectopic pregnancy and tubal factor infertility.  An estimated 10%–20% of women with chlamydia or gonorrhea may develop PID if they do not receive adequate treatment.  Among women with PID, tubal scarring can cause infertility in 20% of women, ectopic pregnancy in 9%, and chronic pelvic pain in 18%. About 80%–90% of chlamydial infections10 and up to 80% of gonococcal infections in women are asymptomatic. These infections are detected primarily through screening.”   (http//www.cdc.gov/STD) After unprotected sex, how long does it take for chlamydia or gonorrhea infection to develop? The incubation period for chlamydia is 1-3 weeks and gonorrhea has an incubation period of about 2-10 days.  While both chlamydia and gonorrhea are serious and transmittable bacterial infections, they are highly curable.  The treatments for these infections are also safe to take if you are pregnant. If you have had unprotected sex or are recently pregnant and feel that you may be at risk for an STI, please call us and schedule an appointment for testing or to ask us more questions.  We are here to help...

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