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5 Things: About Plan B

As sexually active women, we all need forms of birth control that fit our lifestyle. Whatever option you choose, no one form is considered 100% effective at preventing pregnancy, except for abstinence, but is that realistic? Since methods can fail (condoms break or pills get skipped), there is Plan B (emergency contraception). There are some things you should know about this method, and here are five things.

  1. Plan B is just two little pills that contain the hormone levonorgestrel. It's the same hormone found in regular birth control pills, just a stronger dose.
  2. The first pill should be taken within 72 hours after intercourse (within 24 hours is best), and the second pill is taken 12 hours later.
  3. Plan B is not RU-486, also known as the abortion pill. That means that taking it will only prevent a pregnancy that hasn't happened yet. Taking Plan B will NOT harm an implanted egg.
  4. Side effects of taking 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 it may bring on your period immediately, or you may just get it at your regular time. If your period is more than a week late, you should take a pregnancy test since Plan B is not 100% effective.
  5. Plan B is available over the counter in some states. Call your pharmacy to see if they have it. If you are sexually active and don't want to become pregnant anytime soon, (and aren't opposed to taking plan B), it's not a bad idea to keep a dose in your medicine cabinet just in case.

Fit's Tips: Plan B is for emergencies only and shouldn't take the place of your regular and consistent form of birth control. You should also know that Plan B does NOT protect you from STIs.


joanne joanne 10 years
Vanilla-Bean Vanilla-Bean 10 years
I personally think that this is an amazing option for women to have.
Fitness Fitness 10 years
bonbonfay - I definitely see your point. The Plan B website states "Emergency contraception is used to prevent pregnancy, and it’s not effective if you are already pregnant. Also, Plan B will not affect an existing pregnancy." It also states that "Plan B works like a regular birth control pill. It prevents pregnancy mainly by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary, and may also prevent the fertilization of an egg (the uniting of sperm with the egg). Plan B may also work by preventing it from attaching to the uterus (womb). It is important to know that Plan B will not affect a fertilized egg already attached to the uterus; it will not affect an existing pregnancy." I just wanted to clear up that the #3 point in the 5 things was Plan B's choice of words and not Fitsugar's. I guess Plan B believes that pregnancy does not begin until the fertilized egg has attached to the uterus.
bonbonfay bonbonfay 10 years
"That means that taking it will only prevent a pregnancy that hasn't happened yet." .... This statement depends upon when you believe pregnancy begins. I believe it begins at conception, therefore, Plan B does end a pregnancy, imo.
susanec susanec 10 years
Plan B is progestin (levonorgestrel) only and is less likely to cause nausea than other versions (or higher doses of certain "regular" birth control pills, which is an old-school form of emergency contraception, not all types are effective). It's okay to take dramamine with them or take them with food, but typically it's the estrogen that often causes nausea.
Charlie Charlie 10 years
if the manufacturer is Barr, both pills should be progestin only, and can be taken at the same time, instead of waiting 12 hours between the 2. according to planned parenthood's website... :)
krampalicious krampalicious 10 years
awesome, thank you for posting this information. i think it's so important for women to be aware and informed of their sexual and reproductive health options, and i think you've really clarified something that a lot of us don't know that much about.
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