By Amy Kramer of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
Chelsea started off Season 4 of "Teen Mom 2" in a good place -- she finally had her GED, she'd finally enrolled in beauty school and she finally seemed like she was moving on from the drama with Adam -- but, she quickly found herself in a new, complicated situation. After having problems with her birth control, she and Adam had unprotected sex. As they say, two steps forward, one step back. Now, instead of being excited about her next steps in life, she's stressed out about possibly being pregnant...again.
It may seem weird that someone like Chelsea, who knows so much about the challenges of pregnancy and parenting, would be careless about unprotected sex, but it happens…a lot. That’s why using a long-acting yet reversible form of contraception like an IUD is a good idea. Once inserted into the uterus by a doctor, an IUD is 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy for up to five years. That means there's nothing to remember every day or month, nothing to pick up at the pharmacy, and the device is totally private so no one can tell that you have it. Although Chelsea had problems with hers (which does happen to a small percentage of people), the IUD is a great option for someone who wants to make sure they don't get pregnant any time soon. IUDs are one of the most effective types of contraception available. Pulling out, which is what Adam and Chelsea ended up doing, is much less effective.
Chelsea could have also used Emergency Contraception (EC) after the fact. EC, also known as the morning after pill or Plan B, is available over the counter and without a prescription if you're 17 or older. It works up to five days after unprotected sex, though its effectiveness decreases each day. It doesn't cause an abortion, but rather prevents a pregnancy in the first place. According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control, 23 percent of women ages 20-24 (like Chelsea) have used EC.
Had Chelsea used EC, or simply decided to not have unprotected sex, she wouldn't have had to add the possibility of a pregnancy to her list of stresses. Make sure you've got yourself covered by checking out Bedsider.org and finding the method(s!) that are right for you.
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