How Plan B Works
Plan B is a progesterone drug that contains the hormone levonorgestrel. Levonorgestrel prevents pregnancy in different ways, depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle. It can temporarily stop the release of an egg from an ovary or prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus. Plan B works if taken within 72 hours after a regular birth control method fails or within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse.
Once absorbed into the bloodstream, which usually takes a couple of hours, levonorgestrel starts to affect the ovaries or uterine lining. Although its rare, some women may throw up within two hours of taking a Plan B pill. If this happens to you, its best to follow up with your healthcare provider and ask whether or not you should take a second dose.
You can take Plan B at any time during your cycle, but its only meant to be used as an emergency contraceptive pill. Because taking an emergency contraceptive affects your hormones and fights your bodys natural functions, it can often cause side effects. Here are some of the most common side effects that women experience:
What If I Still Get Pregnant
You had hoped Plan B would work but it hasnt and now youre pregnant. We can help you through this.
If you are having any symptoms of pregnancy or a positive pregnancy test after taking Plan B, we can help you decide your next steps. Our caring and supportive team will perform a lab-quality pregnancy test and help you understand all your pregnancy options. If your pregnancy test is positive, you may qualify for a free ultrasound to verify viability and see if proper implantation has occurred.
If abortion is a pregnancy option for you, we will provide free pre-abortion services including ultrasound and the education required in our state prior to any procedure.
What Should I Do Until My Next Period
The ECP will not last until your next period. If you are not taking a regular form of birth control, you should use condoms and foam if you have sex.
If you are already taking oral contraceptives but have missed some pills, start a new pack of pills the day after you take the ECP. The use of a condom is essential to prevent STIs.
If you want to start oral contraceptives or Depo-Provera , wait until your next period starts and use condoms and foam until then.
Your next period may be a little early or a little late however, most women get their next period at about the regular time. If you dont have a normal period within three weeks after taking the ECP, you should have a pregnancy test to make sure you arent pregnant.
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Is Plan B One
No. RU-486, sold as Mifeprex, is a prescription drug for medical abortion. Mifeprex is used after a woman is already pregnant. Plan B One-Step is an emergency contraceptive. It is used to prevent pregnancy. While some people do feel that pregnancy begins at the time of conception, many doctors and the FDA do not describe Plan B One-Step as an abortion pill but as emergency contraception.
Get Your Pregnancy Test
Fort Worth Pregnancy Center offers confidential pregnancy services, including pregnancy testing, at no cost to you. Our lab-quality tests can detect a pregnancy within ten days of conception.
Contact us today for an appointment with one of our caring professionals, and get the answers you deserve. You can also call or text us at 817-924-9110 or email us at
Cleveland Clinic Staff. . Ovulation, conception & getting pregnant. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/11585-pregnancy-ovulation-conceptiongetting-pregnant.
Goldman, R. . What is implantation bleeding? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/implantation-bleeding.
Mayo Clinic Staff. . Morning-after pill. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/morning-after-pill/about/pac-20394730.
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Is Plan B Effective For Preventing Pregnancy
The manufacturers of Plan B recommend that you use the pill as a backup option. You may use it when you make a mistake with your normal birth control method, such as forgetting to take your regular pill. You may also choose to use Plan B after a condom breaks or if you did not use a birth control method.
Plan B may be less effective if you attempt to use it a second time within the same menstrual cycle. It is only intended to be used once per cycle to protect against pregnancy.
Plan B is designed to be an effective form of birth control. However, no birth control method offers a 100% guarantee to prevent pregnancy, other than abstinence.
How Effective Is Plan B And How Long Is It Effective For
Whether you forgot to take the pill or the condom broke, you still have an option for preventing pregnancybut you have to act fast. Plan B One-Step is a morning-after pill that can prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or birth control failure. Emergency contraception can offer peace of mind, but many women still wonder: How effective is Plan B?
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Who Should Not Take Plan B
Even though Plan B is very effective, it isnt right for everyone and is less effective under the following circumstances:
- Its less effective the longer you wait to take it, so take it as soon as possible.
- Its not effective if youre already ovulating.
If you have a BMI thats 30 or greater, a copper IUD or the Ella morning-after pill may be better options for you. The Paragard IUD is almost 99.9% effective at preventing pregnancy if it is put in within five days after unprotected sex, and once inserted, can prevent pregnancy for up to 12 years.
Ella emergency contraception works to prevent pregnancy up to five days after sex and lowers the risk of pregnancy by about 85%. However, you should not take Plan B or other morning-after pills containing levonorgestrel if you have taken Ella since your last period.
Note: Unlike the Plan B pill, the Ella morning-after pill requires a prescription from a doctor to obtain. The Paragard IUD is available by prescription and through your doctor or family planning clinic. Youll need your OB-GYN to insert the IUD, so if you decide to go that route, call the office as soon as possible and explain the situation so they can bring you in quickly to insert the IUD.
When To See A Doctor Or Other Healthcare Professional
Any time you feel unsure, reach out to a doctor or other healthcare professional.
That could be after having sex without a barrier and needing advice on emergency contraception, or it could be after getting a positive result from a pregnancy test.
You can even speak with a doctor about contraception in general. Theyll be able to advise you on safe, long-term options.
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You Took Plan B During Ovulation
Now for the mother of all questions: Is Plan B effective if you are already ovulating? Heres the deal: Preventing pregnancy with Plan Bor any form of ECis all about timing. Sperm can live inside your body for up to five days after sex, waiting for an egg to join up with. If you ovulate during that time, the sperm and egg can meet and cause pregnancy. Morning-after pills work by temporarily stopping ovulation, but if your ovary has already released an egg, your EC wont keep you from getting pregnant, according to Planned Parenthood. So, if you happen to have unprotected sex during your fertile windowfour days before you ovulate, the day you ovulate, and the day afteryoure just naturally more likely to get pregnant, Dr. White explains.
So what should you do if you had unprotected sex during ovulation? Your best bet is the Paragard IUD. Its the best emergency contraception we have. Because it works by inhibiting sperm, the timing in your cycle doesnt matter as much, Dr. White says. Of course, getting an IUD is way different than taking the morning-after pill, but it may be worth it if youre looking for the most effective EC possible.
Side Effects Of Levonorgestrel
Many women have taken emergency contraception without serious complications. But it’s a good idea to ask your doctor about possible interactions with other medications.
Levonorgestrel is considered safe for most women. You should not take it if you are pregnant because it will not end the pregnancy.
Potential side effects of levonorgestrel include:
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Can You Get Pregnant If You Have Unprotected Sex One Day After Taking The Morning
can you get pregnant if you had unprotected sex one day after using plan b?
Yes, its possible to get pregnant. The morning-after pill can help prevent pregnancy when you take it after having unprotected sex. But, it wont prevent pregnancy for any sex you may have after taking it. So if you use the morning-after pill and then have unprotected sex, youll need to take it again.
If youre having vaginal sex and you dont want to get pregnant, use an ongoing form of birth control like the pill, patch, ring, shot, implant, or IUD. Using both a condom and another method of birth control can make sex even safer from both pregnancy and STDs.
Do You Want Extra Advice About The Morning After Pill
Have you taken a morning after pill but still worry you might be pregnant? Contact your doctor or the Sense Infolijn helpline. You could also go to an abortion clinic.
Get yourself tested for STIs when you’re at your doctors practice or the Sense clinic. If you need the morning after pill, you probably have risked contracting an STI too.
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Will Plan B Work If Im Overweight Or Obese
Plan B may be ineffective for heavier women. According to a 2011 meta-analysis, women who take levonorgestrel for emergency contraception, and have a body mass index > 25 kg/m2, have a three times greater risk of pregnancy than women with a normal BMI.
Why is levonorgestrel less effective in high-BMI women?
In a study conducted on 10 women, investigators found that after taking levonorgestrel for emergency contraception, women with a high BMI had about half the level of the drug in their bloodstream that was found in those with normal BMIs.
Similar results were obtained by other other investigators .
Whats The Short Answer
Its really quite simple: No morning-after pill works during ovulation, as theyre designed to delay it.
If ovulation is already happening, Plan B will have failed before its even begun. But knowing whether youre ovulating can be tricky.
If there could be a risk that Plan B fails, the copper intrauterine device is your best bet. Not only is it a highly effective emergency contraceptive, but it can also be used for long-term contraception.
The best way of preventing pregnancy throughout your cycle is to use a long-acting form of contraception.
There are several methods to choose from, including:
Barrier methods, such as condoms, are also an option. Although these methods are less effective than the above. Of course, youd need to be using these before you have sex.
If you have sex without adequate contraception during ovulation, the copper IUD is the safest emergency contraceptive .
Youll need to have it inserted within 5 days after sex or ovulation for it to work.
Once in, the copper makes it difficult for sperm to reach the egg, reducing the chance of pregnancy by more than 99 percent.
Plus, you can keep it in for use as a regular contraceptive for up to 10 years.
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What Happens After I Take It
Side effects of taking Plan B are generally mild and can include:
- Abdominal pain
- Occasional spotting for 1-3 days
If side effects are severe or you are having an allergic reaction seek medical attention immediately.
Your period should start within 21 days after taking Plan B. If your period is late by more than 1 week, pregnancy testing and follow-up with your health care provider are recommended. Plan B will not prevent pregnancy from future acts of unprotected intercourse, so use birth control until your next period.
You Have More Unprotected Sex After You Take Ec
Sometimes people think that after a dose of EC, they a sexual get-out-of-jail-free card, Dr. White explains. Thats not true. Ovulation is just delayed, not stopped, so further acts of unprotected sex put you in the line of fire, she says.
Once more, with feeling: Everyone makes mistakes. If you need emergency contraception, theres no reason to feel down on yourself. It only becomes somewhat concerning if it becomes a habit, because it means there might be a better birth control option out there for you. If you find yourself needing morning-after contraception on several occasions, its not dangerous, but we can do better, Dr. Minkin says. If youre sick of taking birth control pills, we can get you an IUD, the Nexplanon implant, or something elsethere are lots of options, and you dont have to rely on morning-after contraception.
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How Do I Use The Ecp
Either kind of ECP comes in two doses. Take the first one as soon as possible. Take the second one 12 hours later.
The first dose must be taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex . The sooner you take the ECP, the better it will work.
If you throw up within 1 hour of taking the pills, you need to take another dose.
If you are given a pill to prevent nausea do not drive or drink any alcohol for 36 hours after the first set of pills. The medication that you take to prevent nausea may make you feel drowsy.
Do not take any extra birth control pills. They will not decrease your chance of getting pregnant and will make you feel sick.
Can You Have Sex After Taking Plan B
You can have sex after taking Plan B if you have protected sex. Plan B does not work to prevent pregnancy when taken before intercourse. Plan B only works for a single act of sex and only within five days of unprotected sex , Dr. Culwell says. If you have sex later in the cycle after taking Plan B and without using another form of contraception, you can definitely get pregnant.
Plan B is meant to be used after unprotected sex, not before, Cleland adds. So in short, you can have protected sex after taking Plan B if youre up for it . If youre not trying to get pregnant its really important to use a condom or a diaphragm, even if youre on birth control, as it takes seven days of taking consecutive hormonal pills for the body to become protected again after skipping two or more birth control pills, per Cornell Health.
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How Do You Even Know When Youre Ovulating
Its a tough one. There are some physical signs to look out for.
For example, more or clearer vaginal discharge can be a sign that youre ovulating. You may also experience tender breasts and bloating.
Hormone levels also rise at this time you can measure this with a kit that you urinate on. Some people even use fertility or menstrual tracking apps to help them predict ovulation.
But even those who think they have a pretty good idea can be wrong.
Although ovulation tends to happen between 10 and 16 days before your period, the exact day can change from month to month.
Plus, it can be affected by the likes of diet and stress.
Plan Bs manufacturers say the morning after pill may prevent fertilization if ovulation has already happened.
But studies have disputed this, suggesting that the levonorgestrel pill has after ovulation.
So what options do you have to prevent an unwanted pregnancy post-ovulation?
Again, the copper IUD is your best bet. Its still effective after ovulation, with the ability to stop a fertilized egg from implanting.
This can be a costly upfront option, depending on your insurance, and it requires an appointment with a healthcare professional.
But your local clinic or Planned Parenthood may be able to help, too. If youre in the United States and arent sure where to start, check out our state-by-state guide on accessing free or low-cost birth control and emergency contraception.
Antiprogestin Emergency Contraception Pill
Available by prescription in the USA
Antiprogestin emergency contraception pills are the most effective form of emergency contraceptive pill and available only by prescription in the USA. This pill should be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex , but you can take it up to five days later .
This emergency contraception pill changes the way progesterone works in your body . It works by preventing or slowing ovulation . When ovulation is postponed or halted, there is no egg for sperm to fertilize, and pregnancy is prevented.
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Are There Any Other Emergency Contraception Methods
Other than the two types of pills, you also have the IUD as an alternative. This small device is a T-shaped plastic and copper device a doctor or nurse will insert into your womb. Copper is released and stops the egg from implanting in the uterus and prevents it from being fertilised. It can be used as an emergency form of contraception up to five days after unprotected sex and can be left in as a long-term mode of contraception. Out of all the emergency forms of contraception, this is the most effective. Fewer than 1% of women using the IUD get pregnant.
Most women can use the IUD, even if breastfeeding. However in rare cases there are some rare side effects such as: