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What's the Deal With: Plan B

What's the Deal With: Plan B

Things don't always go as planned. Maybe you forgot to take your pill or the condom broke while you were having sex. Now you have a second chance.

If you take emergency contraception (EC), also called the morning-after pill or Plan B, within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse, it can prevent pregnancy (it's 89% effective).

This is not the same as RU-486, the abortion pill. EC is used to prevent pregnancy. It's basically a high dosage of hormones, the same that are found in regular birth control pills. EC stops ovulation, so your egg won't be released. It can also prevent fertilization or a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus. It will not work if you are already pregnant, and will not affect your un-born baby if you already are.

The earlier EC is taken, the more effective it is. The FDA has approved the over-the-counter (OTC) sales of EC. Pretty soon, you might see it on the shelves right next to condoms. Or behind the counter, like cigarettes (or Claritin), and you'll have to show your ID. I'd call your pharmacy first to find out if they offer OTC.

Fit's Tip: It's safe, but should only be used for emergency situations. It shouldn't take the place of your consistent and effective method of birth control - EC does not prevent HIV or other STIs.

Join The Conversation
Beaner Beaner 10 years
katie225 - Plan B doesn't prevent fertilization. After you have sex and then you take Plan B, the egg could have already been fertilized - but taking Plan B prevents the fertilized egg from attaching to the wall of your uterus. That's why people are so upset by this - because if you believe that life starts at fertilization - this is actually like an abortion.
Fitness Fitness 10 years
I am amazed by the debate/discussion you all had about Plan B. You had a lot of varied opinions and were very open with your disagreements. But you never got pointedly mean to each other. You were also all very open about your lives and that is so very cool. Ultimately it seem like you will agree to disagree, but you heard each other sides. So right on ladies. Nice to get to know you all a little bit better.
katie225 katie225 10 years
even though fitsugar cleared up any misconceptions that people might have with plan b, i think people are still posting without fully understanding what it does. it prevents fertilization and implantation! make sure you understand what you're talking about before you talk. pharmacists should NOT be allowed to deny someone their medication. if you're a vegetarian, don't work as a butcher. this is not an abortion pill. it's similar to the birth control pill and acts the exact same way! so do the pharmacists who refuse to give out plan b also refuse to give out birth control pills? are doctors who prescribe birth control pills going against their Oath? my body, my choice! i've never had to use plan b (thank goodness!), i've never had an abortion (and i probably never will), and these are my CHOICES. it is not right for a pharmacist to decide for his or her customers what they should be doing with their bodies. /rant over.
Surabhi Surabhi 10 years
Wow, this is a nice discussion. I'm a pro-choice sort of way. I would not want women putting themselves as risk either & for some, one way or another. Also I have thought about the issue of getting pregnant from a rape. I have not been raped, but almost... very close & I was very lucky it didn't happen. But after that experience & a lot of thought (and who knows what actual reality would hold for me internally), I pretty much think I would actually have the child & raise it with love. I am crazy about children though, no matter what (although I have none of my own yet). I would love to adopt & one can't always know or choose the circumstances of the conception or the mind-sets of the I kind of see it that way (if that makes any sense at all). It's true rights of the father?! I never thought of that one. That would NOT be cool! But at the same time if the rapist were to come forward for that reason, pretty sure his a** would be in the slammer pretty darn quick!
SWEET-C9363 SWEET-C9363 10 years
very good point popstar
popstar popstar 10 years
I'm gonna pipe in here with my opinion after reading everyone's comments. The plan B pill only works on average for 72 hours. In my opinion something the size of a microscopic egg is not a baby. It has no brain, no heart, no appendages, no lungs, no blood, nothing. If you were to take a pregnancy test two days after intercourse in this situation, it would most likely not show up as positive. So again (in my opinion) I don't think people should deny the pill especially because there may not be any evidence of a fertilized egg.
snowdaytoday snowdaytoday 10 years
I think we can all agree that women should be allowed to make choices concerning their own bodies. I wouldn't want anyone telling me what I can and can't do. I think it's great that this pill even exists, and even better that you don't have to go through your gyno to get it. I think we can all relate to having an "oh sh**" moment. If you have to wait to get a prescription, it may be too late... and then you'll have to end up getting an abortion, which would be way worse.
BeachBarbie BeachBarbie 10 years
My 2 Cents: I'm glad such a drug exists, and I think women should be able to buy it from their pharmacist. It just stops the sperm from meeting the egg...from my understanding. Plus, some women might take a whole pack of birth controls pills, and that can't be safe. I don't feel like we need to go backward in time. Basically, what I'm trying to say is, since this drug exists, it might prevent a woman from getting an, I think this pill should be made easily accessible to them. Btw., I am pro-choice. What we don't need, is to go back to the coat hanger days, and having women die unnecessarily....and that is exactly what would happen, but probably on a much larger scale in this day, and age.
bonbonfay bonbonfay 10 years
Most rapists do not technically have a mental illness, as a matter of fact. And mental illness is not like hair color - it isn't passed on as easily. I guess it depends upon how bad you want a child...children with Down's Syndrome are adopted often. ~Bonnie~
SWEET-C9363 SWEET-C9363 10 years
and i was using a expression. "plant potatoes ya get potaotes" "whats in the mother is in the pup", "the apple dont fall too far from the tree etc "
SWEET-C9363 SWEET-C9363 10 years
i guess my point is altho there isnt a "bad" gene. but mental illness can be passed to next generations. i would think someone is not a hundred percent if they commit a rape or a heinous sexual crime
atoxicsparkle atoxicsparkle 10 years
Same here Jen. I have a child molester in my family, yet I myself have no desire to molest children. What does that make me? Am I a potato too?
SWEET-C9363 SWEET-C9363 10 years
i guess im saying that i would be terribley hesitant to adopt a child that was a product of rape. i think there mite be alot of issues that goes along with that down the road. not to mention . i mean does the father have rights to the child? i think if i could wait 4 years to adopt id hold off a little longer to get a better situation
jennifer76 jennifer76 10 years
I have an acquaintance who is the product of a rape, and I'm pretty sure she's not a rapist. She's a lovely girl who's made her mother very happy, now that they've reunited. I'm not saying everyone who has been raped has to have the baby, but I really strongly disagree with the idea that children of bad people are necessarily bad.
Beaner Beaner 10 years
On a side note - there are tons of parents who SHOULDN"T be parents. Sweet C - i agree with you on the potato thing...
SWEET-C9363 SWEET-C9363 10 years
eh i dont know cran.. when ya plant potatoes ya get potatoes
Cranberry Cranberry 10 years
I don't think there's a rapist gene. A baby is a baby.
SWEET-C9363 SWEET-C9363 10 years
not for anything but who would want the child of a rapist?
bonbonfay bonbonfay 10 years
Let me clarify - "strong" may not have been the right word, but it would have required a lot of strength to carry that child. Thankfully, I was not pregnant. But I would have given the child up for adoption to one of the families who has been waiting for 4 years to give a child a home. On average, that is how long someone has to wait to adopt a child...there are that many people out there who want to adopt a child. Try telling a couple who cannot have children that there are already "too many babies and children" in the world. ~Bonnie~
tra tra 10 years
Bonbonfay... I am pretty sure that emergency hormonal contraception is not federally funded or state funded for that matter. I know for sure Medical Assistance and it's Managed Care Organizations (at least in my state) do not reimburse for these drugs. I'm almost positive that the federal grants do not as well. In my statement above regarding Title X clinics, a clinic is funded for services (exams, pap smears, etc.) but not necessarily for all services that are provided.
Beaner Beaner 10 years
Bonnie - l don't agree with you that having your rapists' baby is the "strong" way out. Or did you just mean if you had sex by choice and then got pregant, having the baby and giving it up for adoption would be the "strong"way out? I'm hoping you meant the second one. I think it's awesome that as women today, we have this option. There are way too many babies and children as it is who need homes - why add another one to the group?
t0xxic t0xxic 10 years
My friend took it once and bleed for like 3 months straight.
bonbonfay bonbonfay 10 years
Yeah, Jennifer, that's it! Thanks! I guess the BC pill could cause an abortion if you took the whole pack AFTER you were already pregnant (i.e. have a fertilized egg). That would be why dr's tell pregnant women not take bc pills after they are pregnant. They may be the same hormones, but the dosage makes a big difference. Just like immunizations, they all contain a small part of the disease they are immunizing against, but it is such a low dose, it is not harmful. Pretty much anything in excess can be bad for you or for your baby if you're pregnant. ~Bonnie~
jennifer76 jennifer76 10 years
I *think* the term is abortifacient. My understanding is that there is some controversy over whether this AND the pill are considered abortifacients. This AND the pill work using the SAME hormones. The primary objective is to prevent ovulation. But, they also function by thinning the lining of the uterus which prevents implantation. But, the majority of physicians and medical professionals do not consider this or the pill to be abortifacients. Hope that helps! (I've been reading up since this morning.)
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