By Idries Abdur-Rahman, M.D., FACOG


Okay folks, let’s be honest, sometimes things get a little too hot and way too heavy and before you know it, the deed is done and you didn’t use contraception. So, what should you do? You can either freak-out and hope for the best or you can keep reading because you know the Twin Docs have you covered. I would go with option B, but that’s just me.


There is no way to sugar coat this, if you had unprotected sex, you should be worried. There is no such thing as a completely safe time to have unprotected sex if you don’t want to be pregnant.

WHY: For many women, ovulation (the act of releasing an egg) happens halfway between the first day of your last period and the first day of your next anticipated period.

WHEN: You only have about 48 hours after you ovulate to become pregnant but (and this is a big but), sperm can hang around the scene of the crime for a long time, sometimes up to a week! The longevity of sperm and the fact that when every woman ovulates is different means that unprotected sex at any time can lead to pregnancy (even if you re on your period).



1). The ParaGard IUD

The ParaGard IUD is the MOST effective form of emergency contraception.

HOW: ParaGard acts as a spermicide (kills sperm) and it might (unproven) prevent implantation of the embryo if one of those sneaky swimmers happens to get by.

WHEN: The ParaGard needs to be placed within 5 days of unprotected intercourse BUT, the sooner the better.

WHERE: A downside to the use of ParaGard is the fact that it needs to be placed in the office by a medical professional, which means that you have to make an appointment and actually go to the office.


  • Super effective and non-hormonal.
  • It can be placed in a matter of seconds.
  • Provides long-term birth control (up to 10 years).
  • 99% effective.


  • Has to be placed by a medical professional.
  • Some women report severe cramping and heavier periods with ParaGard.


2). Oral Contraceptive Pills (The Morning After Pill):

Oral Contraceptive Pills can also be used as emergency contraception. There are three branded pills; Plan B, Next Choice and Ella-One.

All of them are readily available at most pharmacies and Plan B and Next Choice do not require a prescription. 95% effective.

HOW: Morning-after pills are designed to prevent ovulation, no egg means no pregnancy.

WHEN: Within 3-5 days of unprotected intercourse but as always, the sooner the better!

  • Ella-One must be taken within 5 days of unprotected sex.
  • Plan-B must be taken within 3 days of unprotected sex and is most effective in the first 24 hours.
  • Next Choice must be taken within 3 days of unprotected sex.

WHERE: Morning-after pills are available at most pharmacies without a prescription with the exception of Ella-One which requires a doctor’s prescription.


  • Most don’t require a prescription.
  • They can be accessed within minutes of unprotected sex.


  • Not as effective as a ParaGard IUD.



An undesired pregnancy can definitely put a damper on your day but an undesired STI/STD can put a damper on the rest of your life. Sometimes unprotected sex can be a hookup and when this happens you might want to consider taking some measures to reduce your risk of contracting an STI as well including:

  • Antibiotics: Obviously these will require a doctor’s prescription, but studies have found that taking certain antibiotics after unprotected sex can reduce the risk of contracting certain STIs like Chlamydia and Syphilis.
  • HIV Prevention: Medications like Truvada have been found to reduce the risk of contracting HIV. These medications require a prescription and they can be taken before or after unprotected sex.

Speaking of practicing safe sex, CHECK THIS OUT to make sure that you are!

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About The Docs


Idris is the creation of twin OB/Gyn Doctors Jamil and Idries Abdur-Rahman. Jamil (Dr. J) and Idries (Dr. I) were inspired to start after participating on season 22 of CBS’ ‘The Amazing Race’.

Read More

Everything You Ever Wanted to
Know About Pregnancy:

But Were Too
Embarrassed or Afraid to Ask

by Idries Abdur-Rahman (Goodreads Author),
Jamil Abdur-Rahman MD, Nikia Bilal (Editor)

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