8 Questions with Board-Certified OBGYN, Dr. Natalie Crawford

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Have you ever been to the gynecologist’s office and completely blanked on all the questions you’ve thought of since your last appointment? Same. So, we polled our team and brought the top questions to Dr. Natalie Crawford, a board-certified gynecologist. She is the co-founder and Director of Patient Experience and Education at Fora Fertility, a boutique fertility practice in Austin, Texas. She is also a Clinical Assistant Professor of Women’s Health at the University of Texas Dell Medical School. (Talk about qualified!) She is passionate about educating and empowering women on the important topic of fertility and contraception. Having the facts about contraception, and backup options, like Plan B One-Step® emergency contraception, allow us to feel more assured in our sexual health decisions.

Below, read on to see her eye-opening answers to our questions:

Her Campus: I have had more than one sexual partner - should I tell my OBGYN that?
Dr. Natalie Crawford: You should 100% tell your OBGYN about all sexual partners and ask any questions you have. Your OBGYN wants to provide you with the best information possible, and I promise there is no judgment. Honesty and openness are essential so that you get the care you deserve!

HC: I’m having horrible cramps the day after having sex. Should I go to the doctor or wait it out?
NC: You should go to the doctor. Horrible cramping is not normal for days after sex and you will want to get tested to see if there is any evidence of infection or other issues. 

HC: Is it possible I’m allergic to condoms? 
NC: Condoms are usually latex and yes, you can have an allergy to latex. Common signs are itching, redness, and tenderness to your vagina (or anywhere the condom touches). If so, make sure to purchase a latex-free condom in the future – your allergy symptoms should resolve if this were the issue.

HC: What’s (usually) the difference between birth control and Plan B?
NC: Birth control pills are usually combination pills that have both an estrogen (Ethinyl estradiol) and progesterone (a type of progestin). These pills work by preventing ovulation but must be taken around the same time every day. Plan B is emergency contraception, which is a single high dose pill of levonorgestrel (a type of progesterone). Plan B must be taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex or birth control failure. The sooner you take it, the better it works. Plan B temporarily delays ovulation so there is no egg, no fertilization, and no pregnancy. Plan B shouldn’t be used as regular birth control, because it isn’t as effective.

HC: I had sex 48 hours ago, and the condom broke. Can I still use Plan B?
NC: YES. Plan B must be taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex or birth control failure – however, the sooner you take it, the better it works! There are many myths out there about Plan B; get the facts here

HC: If I have sex on my period, can I still get pregnant?
NC: Yes! Sperm can live in the female reproductive tract for up to 5 days. Therefore, depending on how long your period lasts and when you ovulate in your cycle – it is possible to have sex on your period and still get pregnant. If you want to prevent a pregnancy, please always use regular contraception!  

HC: Will Plan B affect my ability to get pregnant later on in life?
NC: Plan B will not impact your future fertility. Even if you use Plan B multiple times after unprotected sex or birth control failure, there is no change in your ability to get pregnant later on. But remember, Plan B is NOT meant to be used as regular birth control because it is not as effective as using a regular birth control method consistently.

HC: If I need to purchase Plan B, where can I find/buy it?
NC: You can find Plan B right off the shelf at all major retailers. You do not need a prescription or an ID in any U.S. state to purchase!

You can find Dr. Crawford on Instagram and TikTok @nataliecrawfordmd, Twitter @ncrawfordmd, her blog nataliecrawfordmd.com, her YouTube channel “Natalie Crawford, MD”, and she is the host of the “As a Woman” podcast. Take her word for it: your OBGYN wants to hear all your questions - literally. The key to feeling empowered and confident about your sexual health decisions comes from having the facts about sex and contraception, and backup options, like Plan B.

To learn even more about Plan B, visit PlanBOneStep.com

Disclosure: The information in this Article may be useful but does not constitute medical advice. This Article is not used to make diagnoses, prescribe medicine or provide treatment, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with qualified health professionals who are familiar with your individual medical needs. For questions about birth control and other women’s health issues, please talk to your healthcare professional.