How to Avoid Pregnancy After Sex

In This Article

How to Avoid Pregnancy After Sex



Updated on November 02, 2023

Medically verified by Dr. Arya

Fact checked by Dr. Sharon

pregnancy after sex


14 min read

So, you've had sex and want to avoid an unplanned pregnancy? You're not alone! Many people find themselves in similar situations, and it's essential to know your options. Mykare Health will help you explore common ways pregnancy can occur after sex, early signs of pregnancy, tips for safer sex, various methods to prevent pregnancy after natural intercourse, and practical advice to help you make informed choices.

Why do you want to avoid pregnancy?

Before we jump into the whats and whys, let’s explore why you may want to avoid pregnancy after natural sex.

Timing and Readiness: Pregnancy isn't just about biology. It's about timing. Sometimes, the timing might not be right for you or your partner. Maybe you have other goals or responsibilities to tackle before taking on parenthood.

Family Planning: Family planning is all about making choices that are best for you and your family's future. It allows you to plan when and how many children you want, giving you more control over your life.

Financial Stability: Raising a child can be expensive. Avoiding an unplanned pregnancy can give you more time to prepare financially, ensuring you can provide the best for your future child.

Career and Education: For many, pursuing career goals or completing education is a top priority. Avoiding pregnancy can give you the time and flexibility to focus on these important aspects of life.

Relationship Status: Relationships can be complex. If you're not in a stable or committed relationship, you might want to avoid the added challenges that an unplanned pregnancy can bring.

Personal Choice: Ultimately, the decision to have children should be a personal one. Everyone's circumstances and desires are different, and it's perfectly okay to choose when or if you want to become a parent.

Avoiding pregnancy after sex is a personal choice. Influenced by your individual circumstances, goals, and readiness. It's about taking control of your reproductive health and making decisions that align with your life path. In case you’re trying to avoid an unplanned pregnancy, it's essential to understand the common ways pregnancy can happen after sex.

Common Ways of Getting Pregnant After Sex

Common ScenarioExplanation
Unprotected Vaginal IntercourseThe sperm meets the egg without any barrier.
Missed Birth ControlInconsistent or incorrect use of birth control methods.
Condom MishapsCondoms can break, slip off, or be used incorrectly.
Fertile Window MiscalculationMisjudging your fertile days can lead to pregnancy.

Let’s get into the deets of it.

Unprotected Vaginal Intercourse: You probably guessed this one. When a sperm meets an egg without any form of barrier (like a condom or birth control), there's a chance of pregnancy. It's the most direct route to baby-making.

Missed Birth Control: If you're using birth control, consistency is the name of the game. Missing pills, injections, or not following the prescribed method increases the risk of pregnancy. Birth control only works when you use it correctly.

Condom Mishaps: Condoms are great, but they're not foolproof. They can break, slip off, or even be used incorrectly. Any of these mishaps can expose you to the risk of pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Fertile Window Miscalculation: Your fertile window is the time when your body is most receptive to pregnancy. If you're trying to avoid pregnancy, miscalculating this window can lead to an unexpected bun in the oven.

Also read more about : Sex without protection

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What is a fertile window?
It is a specific timeframe during the menstrual cycle when women are most likely to conceive if they engage in sexual intercourse without contraception. It typically spans a few days in the middle of the menstrual cycle. And centred around ovulation, which is the release of a mature egg from the ovaries. This window can vary from woman to woman. But often occurs between days 10 to 17 of a 28-day cycle, with day 1 being the first day of menstruation. Understanding and tracking one's fertile window can be crucial for those trying to avoid pregnancy. As having intercourse during this period increases the chances of fertilisation.

Watch out the early pregnancy signs

Early pregnancy signs may include:

  • Delayed or Missed Period: The most common early indicator.
  • Breast Tenderness: Increased sensitivity or soreness.
  • Fatigue and Nausea: Feeling exceptionally tired and experiencing queasiness.
Proper Condom UseEnsure correct condom use every time for effective protection.
Consistent Birth Control MethodsUse birth control consistently and according to instructions.
Emergency ContraceptionPlan B can be taken after unprotected sex as a backup.

Ways to Avoid Pregnancy After Natural Sex

Contraceptive MethodExplanation
Emergency Contraception (Plan B)Effective if taken within 72 hours post-sex, but the sooner, the better.
Intrauterine Device (IUD)A long-term contraceptive option that can prevent pregnancy for years.
Birth Control PillsTake these consistently as prescribed for ongoing contraception.
Natural Family Planning MethodsTrack your menstrual cycle to identify fertile and non-fertile days.

It's time to deep dive into these ways.

Emergency Contraception (Plan B) Let's start with the most immediate option. Emergency contraception, often known as ‘Plan B’, is a pill you can take for up to 72 hours (or even up to 120 hours with some brands) after unprotected sex. It works by preventing or delaying ovulation, reducing the chances of pregnancy. It's like a safety net for those ‘uh-oh’ moments.

Intrauterine Device (IUD) If you're looking for long-term protection, consider an IUD. It's a small, T-shaped device that a healthcare provider can insert into your uterus. It provides effective contraception for several years. It can also be used as emergency contraception if inserted within a specific time frame after unprotected sex.

Birth Control Pills If you're not a fan of IUDs, birth control pills can be an option. Certain types of birth control pills can be taken in higher doses as emergency contraception. Your healthcare provider with Mykare Health can guide you on the right dosage and timing.

Natural Family Planning Methods For those who prefer non-hormonal options, natural family planning methods involve tracking your menstrual cycle to determine fertile and non-fertile days. These methods require diligence in monitoring and abstaining from sex during fertile periods.

Practical Tips on Avoiding Pregnancy
Open Communication with Your Partner: Discuss your contraception plans openly and honestly.
Regular Healthcare Consultation: Consult a healthcare professional for expert advice on contraception.
Understand Your Fertility Cycle: Learn about your body's natural signals and your fertile days.
Use Dual Protection: Combining methods (e.g., condoms + birth control) can enhance safety.
Emergency Contraception Is Not Routine: Remember that Plan B should not replace regular contraception methods.

Preventing pregnancy after sex is possible when you understand your options and take responsible actions. Each person's body is unique, so consulting a healthcare provider is crucial for personalised advice. Mykare Health can connect you with the best possible experts. By staying informed and making proactive choices, you can take control of your reproductive health and make well-informed decisions.

PREGNANCY AND HEALTH: How To Avoid Pregnancy After Sex - Home Remedies

Have you ever been in the oops situation after unprotected sex? And wondered how to prevent pregnancy, the natural way? You’re not alone. Many look for natural, home remedies to avoid pregnancy.

In case you want to know more about natural birth control methods, understand your choices, the process and the drawbacks involved.

Please do note that these methods may not be as efficient as hormonal or surgical birth control options.

Also, you must communicate with your partner before you try using them. Both of you should be on the same page for these methods to work well.

Fertility Awareness Methods

Fertility awareness methods of birth control revolve around tracking your monthly menstrual cycle. Without relying on devices or medications. They are cost-effective and generally safe if used correctly. But it can be challenging to master.

The primary concept is to predict your most fertile days each month and abstain from sex during that time. If you have a regular cycle and adhere to these methods perfectly, your chances of getting pregnant can be less than 5%.

However, if you don't use these methods perfectly, especially with irregular periods, the risk can be as high as 24%.

To put this in perspective, here's a comparison of pregnancy odds for typical (imperfect) use of other birth control methods

MethodPregnancy Odds
Male Condom18%
Birth Control Pills9%
Implant or IUDLess than 1%

Fertility awareness methods cover several techniques. Like the rhythm method, standard-days method, cervical mucus monitoring, and basal body temperature tracking.

Combining multiple methods can enhance their effectiveness.

Tracking Your Ovulation

Understanding your fertility cycle is essential. You must be aware that you are at a greater chance of conceiving during ovulation. When your ovary releases eggs. After ovulation, fertilisation of the egg can take about a day and a sperm can live for about 5 days.

By using tools like basal body temperature, cervical mucus observations, and a calendar, you can pinpoint your fertile days. And avoid sex during that time, reducing the risk of pregnancy. But, grasping the nuances of your cycle may take time due to individual variations.

Rhythm Method

This method demands meticulous tracking of your menstrual cycle for 6-12 months before implementation.

You'll calculate your fertile window using a specific formula based on the length of your shortest and longest cycles. Then avoid intercourse during that period.

While apps can assist with tracking, variations in cycle length can challenge its effectiveness.

Standard Days Method (SDM)

Similar to the rhythm method but simpler, SDM prescribes a fixed fertile period (days 8 through 19) for everyone, making it easier to follow.

It works best with cycle lengths between 26 and 32 days. Note that irregular cycles may hinder the reliability of date-tracking methods.

Cervical Mucus Method

Monitoring cervical mucus involves observing changes in mucus consistency and volume throughout your cycle.

Clear, slippery, and stretchy mucus, resembling egg whites, indicates fertility.

Keeping a chart helps identify patterns in mucus changes and guides you in choosing when to abstain from sex.

Basal Body Temperature Method

This method entails daily temperature charting using a basal body temperature thermometer.

A temperature rise of about 1°F during ovulation can indicate fertility.

However, external factors like illness, stress, alcohol consumption, travel, or room temperature variations may affect accuracy.

Withdrawal Method

The withdrawal method involves the male partner withdrawing before ejaculation. Preventing sperm from meeting an egg.

However, its success relies on self-control, and there's a 22% chance of pregnancy with this approach. The fluid secreted before ejaculation can also contain sperm, and can cause pregnancy.


During the first six months after delivery, breastfeeding your baby can serve as a tool to prevent pregnancy. In case you haven't started your period and only breastfeed your baby.

You'll need to breastfeed at specific intervals to prevent ovulation. Studies suggest that if strictly followed, breastfeeding can be 98% effective in preventing pregnancy during this time.

Herbal Birth Control

While some herbs are claimed to prevent pregnancy, limited research supports these claims. And none are FDA-approved.

Herbs like Neem, Castor bean, and others are said to interfere with egg release, sperm fertilisation, or egg implantation. Please contact a healthcare specialist before you use them. Mykare Health can connect you to the specialists and help you make the right choice.

Here’s some deets about how these herbs are considered to work

HerbMechanism of Action
NeemMay inhibit sperm motility and prevent implantation.
Castor BeanContains ricinoleic acid, which may disrupt fertilization and implantation.
Gossypol (for men)May reduce sperm production and motility.
Thunder God Vine (for men)May decrease sperm production and motility.
EvodiaThought to have anti-fertility effects, but the mechanism is unclear.
Wild Carrot (Queen Anne’s Lace)May interfere with implantation if consumed in large quantities.
TurmericMay have anti-sperm effects, but research is limited.
GingerSome suggest it could act as a contraceptive, but more research is needed.
Mango SeedLimited evidence suggests it may affect sperm function.

Home Remedies to Avoid Pregnancy

If you're seeking ways to prevent pregnancy after a missed period, consider these natural options. These may help induce menstruation and potentially deter pregnancy.

Ginger: Ginger is a traditional method known for inducing contractions in the uterus. You can prepare ginger tea by slicing one inch of fresh, peeled ginger, boiling it for seven minutes, and adding a natural sweetener. Consume it daily until your period arrives.

Parsley: High in vitamin C, parsley can stimulate uterine contractions. Avoid parsley if you have kidney issues. Instead of boiling parsley, add a bunch of fresh parsley to a cup of boiling water, steep for five minutes, and then drink.

Papaya: You have had unprotected intercourse and want to induce your period naturally to prevent pregnancy? Consume papaya twice daily for the next four days. Papaya is believed to act as a natural contraceptive by preventing fertilisation.

Pineapple: For those who prefer avoiding pills to induce menstruation and prevent pregnancy, here’s a good option. Eating ripe pineapple for 2-3 consecutive days after intercourse may inhibit embryo implantation.

Apricot: Apricot, another natural fruit, is thought to prevent implantation. Consume 5-10 apricots daily after intercourse until your period begins. Alternatively, boil dried apricots, blend them, and drink the mixture.

Cinnamon: While not an instant solution, cinnamon may help prevent pregnancy and could even lead to abortion in certain circumstances. Consume cinnamon daily in the form of tea until your period starts.

Neem: Neem, an ancient contraceptive, can be taken as an extract, leaves, or neem oil. Intravaginal neem oil may effectively incapacitate sperm, preventing unplanned pregnancies.

Spearmint: For those seeking immediate period induction to prevent pregnancy, spearmint is an option. It's an ancient contraceptive that can be helpful in small doses. Drink spearmint tea once daily, as excessive consumption may lead to adverse reactions.

Cotton Root Bark: Dried cotton root bark can stimulate oxytocin, a hormone that prevents pregnancy. Consume it as a tea.

Things to Keep in Mind While Using Herbal Contraceptives

Here are some considerations before using any of the mentioned home remedies to prevent pregnancy:

  • Maintain a healthy diet while using any birth control methods.

  • Consult a gynaecologist before trying any of these natural contraceptives for safety reasons.

  • If you experience any unusual side effects, discontinue the remedy immediately. We can help you to get connected with the best ones.

  • Remember that the natural remedies mentioned are not 100% effective and can be harmful if overused.

  • Practising safe sex and consulting a gynaecologist are ideal approaches to address any concerns or fears.

Healthcare professionals worldwide often discourage the use of these natural birth control methods. As their risks may outweigh their benefits. Also, these are not backed by any scientific studies. Hence, it is always important to consult an expert before consuming them

Key Takeaways

It's essential to understand why you might want to avoid pregnancy. Various reasons include timing, family planning, financial stability, career and education goals, relationship status, and personal autonomy.

Unprotected vaginal intercourse is a primary way to get pregnant.

Missing or inconsistently using birth control can lead to pregnancy.

Correct condom use is essential for effective contraception.

Emergency contraception like Plan B can be used as a backup.

An Intrauterine Device (IUD) offers long-term contraceptive protection.

Birth control pills must be taken consistently and as prescribed.

Natural family planning involves tracking your menstrual cycle.

Early signs of pregnancy may include missed periods and breast tenderness.

Fatigue and nausea can also indicate early pregnancy.

Understanding your fertile window is essential for preventing pregnancy.

Open communication with your partner is vital for safe sex.

Consult a healthcare professional for expert contraceptive guidance.

Be aware of the limitations and effectiveness of each method.

Emergency contraception should not replace regular birth control.

Plan B is most effective when taken as soon as possible.

Consider dual protection for added security.

Tracking your menstrual cycle can help avoid fertile days.

Consistency is key to the effectiveness of contraception methods.

Always follow the instructions provided with contraceptive products.

Responsible decision-making and informed choices are essential for reproductive health.

Unprotected sex can lead to pregnancy, and many seek natural home remedies to prevent it.

Natural birth control methods have their pros and cons, but they may not be as effective as hormonal or surgical options.

Both partners must commit to these methods for them to work effectively.

Fertility awareness methods involve tracking your menstrual cycle without devices or medications.

Predicting fertile days and avoiding sex during that time is key, with a 5% chance of pregnancy for perfect use.

Other birth control methods have varying pregnancy odds, with implants and IUDs being the most effective.

Fertility awareness includes the rhythm method, standard-days method, cervical mucus monitoring, and basal body temperature tracking.

Understanding your fertility cycle, especially ovulation, is crucial for natural birth control.

The rhythm method requires meticulous tracking and calculating a fertile window. The standard days method simplifies it by setting a fixed fertile period (days 8-19).

Monitoring cervical mucus and basal body temperature can help pinpoint fertile days.

The withdrawal method relies on self-control and has a 22% pregnancy risk.

Breastfeeding can serve as temporary birth control if done strictly for the first 6 months postpartum.

Herbal birth control methods like Neem, Castor bean, and others are not scientifically proven and may have risks.

Various herbs are believed to interfere with egg release, sperm fertilisation, or egg implantation.

Herbal contraceptive effectiveness remains uncertain, so consult a doctor before use.

Home remedies like ginger, parsley, papaya, pineapple, apricot, cinnamon, Neem, spearmint, cotton root bark may help induce menstruation and deter pregnancy.

These remedies lack scientific proof and may carry risks, so consult a healthcare professional.

Considerations when using herbal contraceptives include a healthy diet, consulting a gynaecologist, monitoring side effects, and avoiding overuse.

Natural birth control methods require careful planning, dedication, and understanding of their limitations.

For reliable and safe birth control, consulting with a healthcare professional is recommended.

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