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A Plan of Action
What can i do NOW? What is my Best Option?

If you are concerned about becoming or being pregnant and you do not want to be pregnant, this page has been designed to help you discover what your options are to prevent pregnancy from occurring, or to disrupt it, whichever the case may be. None of the home remedies that are discussed on this page and else where on this website are guaranteed to work. Just as with methods offered by the medical establishment, all can fail, however some methods may be more reliable than others. I also have no medical training, nor am I qualified to tell anyone what they should do. Its always a good idea to find a herbalist, Naturopath, or midwife to work with. Anything you try, you do so at your own risk.

This page has been updated and redesigned, made to be more interactive with the goal of directing you to the information that will be most helpful to you in whatever your situation might be. On this page you will find only find general information about the herbs. For information on dosages, cautions and other things that you should know about before attempting any of these home remedies will be found in other areas of the website, there will be links on this page that will direct you to that information.

Important: This page is not meant to be read from top to bottom. Not all of the information found on this page will pertain to everyone. This web page will pose questions for you, choose the response that best resembles your situation. Your response will lead you to more information about what you can do and what your options are. The links you click on in response to the questions asked will jump you around on this page, or perhaps take you to another page, again depending on the situation; how you respond to the question. Hope its not confusing, and i hope it helps.

I made these pages to help women figure out what their best options are, its the type of information and questions i typically ask via email, after encountering similar questions so often, this webpage was born to help guide women through this part and help to determine what options are available and what might best help in your current situation.

So lets get started shall we....?

If menstruation is not due yet.....

  • Did exposure to semen occur less than 2 hours ago? Help for right now!!
  • Were you exposed less than 72 hours ago? Emergency Contraceptive Pills
  • Were you exposed less than a week ago? IUD, or QAL seeds
  • If exposure occurred 10 days ago: QAL seeds or vitamin C

  • If you have not yet determined your risk of getting pregnant at the time of exposure to sperm, please follow this link.

  • If your period is due now or late.

  • Have you had a pregnancy test? What was the result? Negative. Positive.... Has the week of pregnancy been determined? Yes or No.

    If your period is not due yet

    If your period is not yet due, then the first thing you should try to do is figure out your actual risk of pregnancy at the time of exposure to sperm. I have created a web page to do just this. Its design is very similar to this one, and will lead you back to this page. Figuring the out is very helpful especially when it comes to making good decisions about what you should do, or if you even need to do anything at all, if the risk of getting pregnant was low then there's no need to put your body through the additional stress. Its not hard to figure out, especially if your cycle is regular and you keep track of the first day of your period each cycle. Its best not to use these remedies unless absolutely necessary.

    This page will help you to Determine Your Risk for Pregnancy at the time of exposure to sperm.

    If menstruation is due now or if it is late an early detection pregnancy test can be used to find out for certain if you are pregnant. Personally, I think it is better to know, than to use the herbs on the assumption that you are pregnant. Your body deserves as much respect as the herbs do, take the test, and spare yourself the added stress. If you are not pregnant then you can use milder remedies to help get your period started. However, if ovulation has not yet occurred, your body isn't ready to bleed, and the herbs can't force bleeding if the endometrium isn't ready there's no uterine lining to be shed, meaning there's nothing there to bleed out.

    For more information on early detection pregnancy tests, what to look for when shopping for a test.

  • If the pregnancy test is Negative.

  • If the pregnancy test is positive, the next step would be to figure out how many weeks pregnant you are. This is very important when it comes to deciding what the best options are.

    To figure out how many weeks pregnant you are and your cycles are regular and you keep track of your dates, like when your period started and is due, date of fertilizing intercourse, it should be pretty easy to figure out how many weeks the pregnancy is at.

    If cycles are irregular or the needed dates are not recorded, then the week of pregnancy can be determined by a doctor or clinic like planned parenthood, if you have insurance have them do an ultrasound, and if you can't afford that option then have them do a manual pelvic exam, any experienced gynecologist can tell the week of pregnancy by feeling the size of the uterus. One word of caution regarding doctors and the week of pregnancy, often they will count the weeks of pregnancy starting from the last menstrual period (LMP) this is different than the actual week of pregnancy when starting from conception. Make sure this is clarified, otherwise you'll be thinking that you are two weeks or more further along than you actually are. Its confusing I know, but the reason they do this is that menstruation is a fixed and easily identified point in the cycle, just clarify that it is from the week of conception, not the LMP. On this website, when I talk about the weeks of pregnancy, it is always starting from conception. So when I say 5 weeks pregnant, I mean 5 weeks since conception occurred, which would be about 7 weeks from the start of the last menstrual period (LMP), or more depending on individual cycles.

    Once the week of pregnancy is determined I'll discuss the best options available for that particular week of pregnancy.

    But first, some more help with determining the week of pregnancy. This can be done a couple of ways, it is most helpful if you know the date your last period started and/or the dates of intercourse. Ovulation occurs 14 days before your period starts. By counting on your calender 14 days back from when your period was suppose to start this would be the estimated day of ovulation. This can be compared with possible fertilization dates, in fertile conditions sperm can live for up to 7 days, though the usual lifespan is 3 to 5 days. This can be cross-checked with the estimated date of ovulation, if everything checks out then count the weeks between estimated ovulation date, and the current date, this is the number of weeks pregnant.

    Once you know this, then you can choose from the options that are best suited for this week of pregnancy.

    Remember, than you must be committed to ending the pregnancy before using any of these remedies, because there is always a strong chance that they will not work, even when used correctly in the best possible circumstances. If they don't work it is very important to follow up with a clinical abortion. If this is not something that you are willing to do, then the home remedies shouldn't be used. Natural or home remedies doesn't mean that they are safe or with out risks.

    2 to 4 weeks pregnant menstruation is due or up to two weeks late.
    5 to 7 weeks
    8 weeks and beyond
    If you are not sure how many weeks pregnant you are, go back and see if you can figure it out.

    Immediate Action Emergency Contraception
    If you have just been exposed to semen, there are things you can do to help prevent pregnancy. If you were using a condom and had it break and you or your partner did not place a drop of spermacide in the tip of the condom (in addition to any spermacide that may have come prepackaged with the condom). Immediate action can be taken.

    Help for Right Now -
    Broken Condoms and Unprotected sex, occurring less than 2 hours ago.

    First try to squeeze some of the juices from lovemaking out of the vagina. You can do this by contracting your lower abdominal muscles and pushing, wiping as much of it away as possible. I've noticed that while sitting on the toilet if you blow your nose, this also helps to contract the right muscles, also having a bowel movement will help to push the semen out.

    Next place two tablets of vitamin c in the vagina next to the cervix, once they start to dissolve they will increase the acidity of the vagina and reduce the number of sperm which make it inside the uterus. If no vitamin c is handy, lemon juice will also do the same thing, and will probably sting, especially after the friction of lovemaking, rinse the vagina gently with pure or slightly diluted lemon juice. Both of these remedies will probably cause irritation to the vaginal tissues. If it is too much, this side effect can be remedied by taking a bath, or gently douching with water. I say gently, because douching because you want to rinse sperm out, not force them in any further. I've also read that garlic, might have some spermacical activities. If you don't have easy access to anything else it might be worth a try. Peel and bruise a clove and push it up against your cervix and leave it there for 8 hours.

    Sperm need an alkaline environment to survive, semen and fertile mucus work to protect the sperm from the normally acidic environment of the vagina until they are able to get into the uterus. see Vitamin C for more specific information.

    If a drop of spermacide was placed in the tip of the condom before putting it on him, this will help to kill more of the sperm. Depending on how may sperm were released and the quantity of semen the additional spermacide may be enough to kill all of the sperm. If spermacide is on hand, an additional applicator full can be inserted into the vagina to kill remaining sperm. Place the spermacide as close to the cervix as possible. This will probably be less irritating than the vitamin c, and may be more effective as well.
    If additional protection is desired then go for emergency contraceptive pills. If the condom had spermacide on it, but no additional spermacide was added, it is likely that many of the sperm will survive. The spermacide packaged with condoms is not enough to kill all the sperm if the condom ruptures.

    I wouldn't trust these remedies to kill every sperm, next you'll need to try and determine your risk of pregnancy, if your risk is high, you should go as soon as possible to your local women's clinic (look for a planned parenthood) or doctor and get emergency contraceptive pills. If you just came from Determining your Risk, click here to go back to where you left off.

    Emergency Contraceptive Options

      Emergency contraceptive pills offered by the medical establishment, can be used up to 72 hours after exposure to sperm. After this they are not effective. Although, I did hear of someone doing some research (planned parenthood maybe) to see if emergency contraceptive pills would be effective after 72 hours but I have yet to come across any of the data. I've heard it was "Plan B" that was being tested.

      If the 72 hour window has passed another option would be an IUD, this option is available for up to 5 days after the exposure to sperm. It is an option not for everyone. It is not recommended for women who are young (teens or early 20's). It is not recommended for women who still want children or who have a history of pelvic infections. It is very effective at preventing pregnancy and is a form of long term contraception and once it is in place its something that doesn't need to be thought about and provides protection for several years, but can be removed at anytime by your doctor.

      Other alternatives - would include in the order of effectiveness - in my opinion.

      • Queen Anne's Lace seeds can be used for emergency contraception if they happen to be on hand. They can be started up to 5 days after being exposed to sperm and they should work fine, any later than that, depending on when ovulation actually occurred, the seeds may or may not be effective. If you don't happen to have them on hand, they are kind of tough to find, though I have come across a few places that they can be ordered online, or just call. So its best to acquire them before hand, rather than try to find them when you are in the middle of a crisis. I think that the QAL seeds are probably the most effective form of herbal implantation inhibitors.

        Qal seeds may even be effective for up to 11 days, after exposure to sperm. This depends on when exposure occurred in relation to ovulation. Sperm can live in fertile conditions for up to a week, and the egg when fertilized will implant 6 days after ovulation. If you can identify when you were most likely to ovulate you can use this information to know whether qal seeds can be used in time to prevent implantation. If its too late, then consider other options.

        A tsp of seeds are taken daily, chewed thoroughly and washed down with a glass of water. The seeds are taken for 10 days then stopped, although they can be taken until menstruation begins, I really don't think it is necessary, because implantation occurs 6 days after ovulation, and it either happens or it doesn't. QAL seeds have been listed in ancient herbals as having emmenagogue and abortifacient properties, but I'm not convinced they are as strong as some of the other herbs.

        Please note: There has been updated information about the best ways to use Queen anne's lace. Its is most effective if first used within 8 hours of unprotected sex, then followed by another dose or two. For more information please visit Robin Rose Bennett's article on Queen Anne's Lace

      • Chinese herbal medicine - recently I've heard that oriental doctors have herbal remedies they can use to prevent or end pregnancy. Each remedy is written like a prescription for the individual person. It is a combination of herbs suited to your unique physiology. Working with a chinese herbalist may increase chances of success because the remedies are written up for you, rather than a general herbal like found on this website.

      • Vitamin C as Emergency Contraception
        I've also come across references to vitamin c being used as an emergency contraceptive, although based on feedback from my website, I question its effectiveness when used to inhibit implantation, though it seems to be more effective than other herbal choices when it comes to terminating the pregnancy. Doesn't really make sense, it is possible that I only hear from the women it doesn't work for. Its hard to say for certain.

      • Rutin is listed by Susun Weed as an implantation preventer, other than her information, I don't really know much about this one, and it have been used only by one or two women that I know of.

    If you have not attempted to identify when you are fertile I would recommend doing this before continuing on this page. Determining your risk of pregnancy.

    If you were directed here from another page on this website for emergency contraceptive options, return to the origional page to help determine your risk of pregnancy.

    Pregnancy tests as tools
    These days certain pregnancy tests are sensitive enough to tell us before menstruation is due if we are pregnant. The earliest ones can give an accurate reading as early as 10 days after ovulation, which means four days before menstruation starts. To use the tests effectively, I would suggest buying two of them, because the actual day of ovulation may not be the day we think. The second test should be taken 2 or 3 days after the first test. Then if menstruation still doesn't show up in a week after the second test was taken a third test can be taken, and if this one too is negative, then based on this series of tests, there would be no chance of being pregnant from that particular exposure to sperm. Using a series of three tests should effectively rule out any chance for a false negative, if you have the third test done at planned parenthood then for sure everything is fine.

    Wait & See Approach does necessarily mean do nothing and just wait for your period, however, in some situations this might be the most appropriate course of action. In other situations, a pregnancy test or series of them should be used to detect pregnancy early just incase. This approach is used for lower risk exposures to sperm.

  • If with the help of this website you have determined that the exposure to sperm was at a non-fertile time then nothing needs to be done.
  • If the risk of pregnancy is low then one of two things can be done, wait for menstruation or use an early detection pregnancy test just in case.
  • If risk of pregnancy is low to moderate, then a series of pregnancy tests should be used to detect pregnancy in its very earliest stages - before menstruation is due.

    If a pregnancy test is positive.
    If a test is Negative.

    Options for various weeks of Pregnancy

    1.5 to 4.5 weeks pregnant - During these weeks of pregnancy, menstruation is either due or up to two weeks late. Based on other women's experiences, it seems that if the herbs are started no later than the 4th week of pregnancy there is a decent chance of success, meaning 50-50 or slightly less. I've been collecting data from individual women who've attempted to terminate pregnancies herbally since 1998, and will continue to add to it as other women share there experiences with herbs to bring on menstruation. I've created a questionnaire which helps me in my data collection for my database.

    The remedies listed on this website work best if started during this time frame. I would suggest reading the website in detail and basing your choices on what is available in your area, and what you feel most comfortable with. Personally, I lean toward vitamin c because it is less toxic than some of the herbal choices. It also combines well with dong quai, parsley and black cohosh.

    Pages to start with: {These pages and more can be found on the herbal abortion directory page, which you may want to bookmark for easy reference}

    Pregnancy Termination - I recommend starting here, its an introduction and covers general introductory stuff, some of it won't apply because the pregnancy has been confirmed, it is also the gateway to the information on the herbs, I intentionally funnel people through this page before directing them to the herbal information.
    Pregnancy and herbal abortion week by week - written by Uni Tiamat author of "Herbal Abortion"
    Possible Risks when using Herbs for Abortion - stuff you should know before starting.
    What to expect when using herbs to terminate.
    How herbs can interfere with pregnancy - understanding how the herbs work, and putting it all together.

    5 to 7 weeks of pregnancy from conception Realistically the chances of the herbs working during these weeks and beyond are very small. At the time this page was written I don't know of anyone who had a positive pregnancy test and had the herbs work for them, with the exception of the author of "Herbal Abortion" Uni Tiamat, who terminate her pregnancy when starting the herbs during the 6th week.

    In an interview with Susun Weed she mentioned that the 6th week of pregnancy was a week where many pregnancies naturally terminated, possibly because the body would normally be bleeding at this time if conception had not occurred the cycle before. And suggested that this would be another window of opportunity for herbal abortion attempts. However most other herbalists I've spoken with tend not to agree because often the abortion attempt will last two weeks bring it into the 8th week of pregnancy where the chances of problems occurring increases. Once the 7th week is reached I think its important to discontinue the herbs/vitamin c and go for a clinical abortion. The abortion pill is an option up until the 7th week of pregnancy (last time i checked). So if this is something you'd consider don't let that cut off date slip by you.

    I'm of the opinion that once the pregnancy gets into these weeks, time might be better spent seeing out other options than those listed on my website, such as the Abortion pill, or the Aspiration Proceedure.

    If the herbal route is still preferred, seek out help. I understand that traditional chinese herbalists have prescriptions they can write specifically for the individual to induce bleeding. Because the prescriptions are written for the individual in question, they are more likely to be successful than choosing an abortive herb and going for it. And at this stage of pregnancy where time is running out every day counts and efficiency is definitely a plus, its not a time to be groping around in the dark with herbs if you are not sure about what you are doing.

    If a chinese herbalist isn't available and you can't find a regular herbalist, midwife, naturopath, or acupuncturist to help you and you choose to attempt to abort at home, be aware of the risks involved, and what to do if there is a problem. Know what to expect, incase there is a problem it will help to identify it. Then start with the page on pregnancy termination, and it will lead you to more information, which builds upon itself as you go. Then start at the top of the list and work your way down.

    The 8th week of pregnancy and beyond At this point, its too late for any of the remedies listed on my website. The pregnancy has had too much time to get established, and at this time the risks of something going wrong increase dramatically. This is the week where the umbilical cord attaches firmly, and should the pregnancy abort, it often breaks off, causing heavy bleeding and/or hemorrhage (which can be life-threatening), the retained tissue if not expelled will cause uterine infection which can result in infertility and even death if left untreated. Both of these emergency situations are resolved by doing a D&C (surgical abortion), and will often be more costly than a regular surgical abortion would under non-emergency circumstances.

    I've heard that chinese herbalists have herbal prescriptions they can write for individuals that would still be effective, though I imagine that the risk of having problems would still be increased. I'd stay in close contact, and if the herbalist doesn't discuss what to do incase of hemorrhage, better start asking more questions, remember you may be putting your health at risk so have as much information as possible before taking that risk.

    For the most of us, the only option left at this point is a surgical abortion. Its a scary thought I know, but if you find a good clinic with a supportive caring staff the experience really isn't that bad. If you want, you can always have them knock you out. But its over with so quickly, its really not worth the extra money. Bring a friend, and join the pre-abortion support group, chalk it up as a lesson learned, and do your best to avoid this situation again. And if you want to read about herbs and abortion for your own information, just start at the top of the list and work your way down. Good luck.

    When a Pregnancy Test is Negative

  • If the test is negative, and only one home pregnancy test has been used and menstruation is still absent, retesting to rule out the possibility of a false negative isn't a bad idea if you've been exposed to sperm. Be sure to wait a couple of days in between tests to allow pregnancy hormones (if present) to increase and become more detectable. Also using the first urine of the day can also improve accuracy. Another option is visiting your doctor or local Planned Parenthood to get retested.

  • Another consideration, if something has occurred to delay ovulation, it will cause menstruation to be late. The body needs to complete its cycle to be able to bleed, if the endometrium (uterine lining) hasn't been built up, then there's nothing there to bleed out. So using emmenagogue or abortive herbs to try and force your period to come probably isn't going to help.

    For women who want to see if an herb can help get their period started, one of my favorites is parsley. Its a very mild herb, and is actually pretty good for you. Drinking 3 or 4 cups a day to see if you can coax your period on shouldn't hurt. And if no bleeding starts in a couple of days, wait a week and drink a few more cups of parsley tea. But again, you have to ovulate before you can bleed, and once ovulation occurs, it takes about 14 days before your body is ready to bleed. An alternative to parsley would be a ginger tea. Just something mild and non-toxic, something that doesn't put additional stress on your body (like the vitamin c).

    So when a test is negative, and the possibility of a false negative has been ruled out, for menstruation that is simply late, the best approach in my opinion is just to let your body do it's thing. If you want to try and help out, a little liver cleansing might help, dandelion root and burdock root are both excellent for the liver and women's health. If you are bound and determined to try a herb to try and start your period, parsley is my first choice, and ginger would probably be my second, although parsley is more of an emmenagogue, and ginger more of a stimulating herb. Both are mild and non-toxic, and I wouldn't use anything stronger than that, because for some reason your body is under additional stress, there's no need to make your body cope with anything more. So just try to support your body, reduce your stress levels, and be good to yourself. The test is negative, now you can RELAX!!!

    Herbs for Delayed Menstruation

    Fertility Awareness
    Preventing and
    Ending Pregnancy

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    This page created in 2000. Last updated on June 19, 2001.