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What You Should Know About Plan B

Has this scenario ever happened to you? The condom breaks while having sex? It happens all the time, but luckily there is EC (Emergency Contraception) or the "Morning After" pill as a backup -- accidents do happen!

EC, also known as Plan B, should be taken within 24 hours after intercourse to be most effective, but can be taken up to 3 days after. It is NOT meant to be your main form of birth control, since it's only 89% effective against preventing pregnancy and does NOT protect you from STIs like HIV.

Those 2 little pills contain the hormone levonorgestrel, the same hormone found in regular birth control pills, just a stronger dose. You take both pills at the same time, which will prevent an egg from getting fertilized, and if the egg is already fertilized, Plan B can prevent it from attaching to the uterus. While Plan B can stop an unwanted pregnancy, remember that it is NOT RU-486 (the abortion pill) and it can only prevent a pregnancy that hasn't happened yet.

What happens when you take Plan B and where can you get it? To find out

Usual side effects of Plan B include nausea, abdominal pain (similar to period cramps), fatigue, headache, menstrual changes, dizziness, breast tenderness, vomiting, and diarrhea. Plan B affects everyone differently so sometimes it will bring on your period, and other times you will just get it at your regular time. If your period is more than a week late, you should take a pregnancy test since it's not 100% effective.

Dear's Advice: Plan B is totally safe to use, but is meant for emergencies only. If you have had unprotected sex in the last 72 hours and think there is a possibility that you might get pregnant (and you're NOT happy about it), be safe rather than sorry and get Plan B from your pharmacist. ** Plan B is now available over the counter, without a prescription if you're over 18**


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