Urgent Problem? Condom Broke?

If you have had unprotected sex recently (the condom broke, you forgot to use one, or you miscalculated your fertile window) here’s what you need to know.

  • Pregnancy: if it has been less than 72 hours (some clinics prescribe it up to 120 hours/5 days) you can get medication that helps prevent pregnancy. This is available in many countries over-the-counter from pharmacies, from your GP, from hospitals, or from sexual health clinics. Information on emergency contraception is here and a website to help you find it is here). One benefit of practicing the Fertility Awareness Method is that you will know exactly when you might be able to get pregnant and when you cannot. Ask me for more information.
  • HIV: If it has been less than 72 hours since unprotected sex you can get medication that helps prevent transmission of HIV. You can get this from hospital emergency departments or sexual health clinics. It is up to the doctor whether or not you need it based on their risk assessment. Information on this medical treatment called PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) is here. Some countries have this readily available, and some don’t, so check with your local hospital or telephone helpline about what your options are. In Vancouver PEP is available in six central locations (find the one closest to you here).
  • STIs: If you live in Vancouver or anywhere in British Columbia, and you don’t want to go to your family doctor, you can access this list of clinics and find out where STI testing  is available near you.

Useful Links

Fertility Awareness

Justisse Healthworks for Women – Justisse trains Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioners (like me!) and has an online app for menstrual cycle charting.

Association of Fertility Awareness Professionals – Professional membership organization of Fertility Awareness Educators, and educates the public about the benefits of Fertility Awareness.

Taking Charge of Your Fertility, by Toni Weschler – great book, considered to be the ‘bible’ of fertility awareness

Holistic Fertility

Yinstill Reproductive Wellness – Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) fertility and reproductive health clinic in Vancouver BC with TCM doctors, acupuncture, and naturopathic doctors

Sex Education

Options for Sexual Health – Based in British Columbia, Options for Sexual Health is Canada’s largest non-profit provider of sexual health services through clinics, education programs, and the 1-800 SEX SENSE information and referral line.

International Planned Parenthood Federation – The parent organization of all worldwide affiliated groups.

Marie Stopes – Providing choices in reproductive healthcare


AIDS Vancouver – Help for those living with HIV in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland

Terrence Higgins Trust – HIV and sexual health charity based out of the UK

UNAIDS – United Nations AIDS organization

Men’s Health

Health Initiative for Men (HIM) – Vancouver-based organization working to strengthen gay men’s health and well-being through health promotion services and by engaging the community through volunteer involvement, online access and events.

Andrology Australia – Organization that works to improve reproductive health of males through community and professional education programs.

Professional Networks and Education

Sex Information and Education Coucil of Canada (SIECCAN)

Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS)

Australian Society of Sexuality Educators, Researchers, and Therapists (ASSERT)

Graduate Program in Sexual Health at University of Sydney