We all know that 'Prevention is always better than cure'. If you and your partner are sexually active, make sure you both are aware about how to reduce the risks of getting pregnant. Whether it is premarital or living-in relationships or just a casual relationship, unwanted pregnancy is something no one wants to end up with.

Read on to find out 3 simple ways to avoid an unwanted pregnancy:

1. Use protection - Prevention is always better than cure

There are several myths regarding the use of regular contraceptive methods like oral contraceptive pills, condoms or Copper - T.

Whether a couple is married or unmarried, when these regular contraceptive methods are used, unwanted pregnancy can be avoided.

A consultation with the gynaecologist to check up and to understand their correct use is a must and will allay your anxieties and concerns.Note: For Females

  • EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION must be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex in order to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. Take within 72 hours of unprotected sex. One dose 100 µg ethinylestradiol + 500µg levonorgestrel (2-4 birth control pills), 12 hours later a second dose.

  • MORNING-AFTER IUD must be inserted within 5 days of unprotected intercourse. The IUD can stay for 5 to 10 years.For Men

  • CONDOMS are usually made from latex rubber and can be used only once. Some have spermicide added to them to kill sperms. They act as a mechanical barrier, preventing direct vaginal contact with semen, infectious genital discharges, and genital lesions. Condoms are the most effective method for reducing the risk of infection from the viruses that cause AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s). It is important to put on/ wear a condom properly before intercourse.A word of caution here about Emergency Contraceptive Pills

  • It is clear that these pills are for emergency situations

  • Couples in steady relationship should adopt regular contraceptive method

  • These emergency pills have very high content of hormones

  • Using them can make your following periods irregular, delayed and heavy

  • They should be taken ONLY after consulting a on Gynaecologist

2. Be alert - For early diagnosis of unwanted pregnancy

  • As soon as you have missed your periods, check yourself for pregnancy

  • Easiest method is to do a urine pregnancy test done at home in a kit easily available at the nearest pharmacy

  • The instructions to take the tests are also clearly written on the packaging of the kit

  • Advanced tests for diagnosis of pregnancy can be done on your Gynaecologist 's advice (for ex: a blood test known as Serum Beta HCG and sonography)

3. Timely treatment - See a Gynaecologist at the earliest

  • When we talk about unwanted pregnancy, it is clear that couples want termination

  • Government of India has set guidelines to offer safe abortion to all those who seek it

  • There are two ways of undergoing an abortion:A. Surgical D&C (Dilation and curettage) - This is a traditional way and will require a day's time of hospitalization. It is most safe if done in a Govt. approved MTP (Medical Termination of Pregnancy) center.B. Abortion by pills- If clinical situation is of early pregnancy and within the limit set by the Govt. of India, oral abortion pills  can be taken after consulting with a Gynaecologist- There are no risks of anesthesia and surgical instrumentation in this method and no hospitalization is required.

In conclusion, practising safe sex is always the best option. Consult your medical practitioner before you try anything, so that you can have full knowledge of what can be done to fully avoid an unwanted pregnancy without any lingering doubts.