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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**


ThePerfectScore ThePerfectScore 10 years
Being the responsible friend that I am I took my best friend to go get plan B after she lost her virginity with unprotected sex..... I think it's important ppl know that its out there... I'm glad it no longer requires a prescription b/c that was a stupid requirement when time is of the essence...
nessabum nessabum 10 years
plan b definitely has the least amount of side effects. but expect your pms symptoms to be 10 times worse (the moodiness part, especially). remember to take gravol to prevent nausea and vomiting (you don't want to vomit the pill). and here's something REALLY IMPORTANT--Dear, you need to correct this. PLAN B IS TO BE TAKEN IN THIS MANNER: THE FIRST PILL IS TAKEN AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AND THE SECOND PILL IS TAKEN 12 HOURS LATER. ladies, trust me on this. i took plan b before and that is what the pharmacist and the package says.
ash_marisa ash_marisa 10 years
Not to say that medical definitions trump social ones, it just really depends on the person which is of more relevance.
ash_marisa ash_marisa 10 years
I am also very strongly pro-choice, but being in a medical field, I consider life to begin in terms of what is medically and objectively-defined and not subjectively defined (I know you will disagree, but again, I am from a medical field so I tend to believe in textbook definitions instead of social ones. Many pro-choice people do NOT believe that plan b is considered a form of abortion. That would be a personal stance from you, but it is not what all pro-choicers believe. I just do not like that it is being falsely expressed that being for Plan B be makes you for abortion.
Casimira Casimira 10 years
1) If you take Plan B after having unprotected sex, please also remember to get screened for STDs. 2) Whether or not it is an abortion pill depends on your definition of when life begins. For those who believe that life begins when the egg is fertilized, then it is in fact an abortion pill since it prevents a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterine wall. Most forms of chemical birth control have some sort of abortifacient backup component to them. I realize that my anti-abortion stance puts me in the vast minority here, and try to be respectful of the pro-choice crowd. I just feel that saying that it is flat out not an abortion pill is somewhat disingenuous because the definition is subjective.
DearSugar DearSugar 10 years
I agre with ash_marisa - Yes, Plan B works if you are not currently on the Pill.
ash_marisa ash_marisa 10 years
Msmarrisa, they do work if you are not currently on birth control pills. that is who it is specifically geared towards, since people who are on BC pills should not need it unless they forgot to take some of their pills (since it is basically more or less a large does of what is in daily BC pills).
bluejeanie bluejeanie 10 years
they do work if you are on birth control, however if you take your pill regularly then you shouldn't need this.
Msmarissa006 Msmarissa006 10 years
do they work if ur not currently on birth control??
ash_marisa ash_marisa 10 years
Thanks for posting this up dear. I get so extremely irritated and enraged at people who lobby against plan B because they mistakenly think it terminates pregnancy. Sex ed has really fallen off it seems. I am completely shocked at how so many people do not know how a morning after pill works.
bfly1133 bfly1133 10 years
For the ladies who are "stocking up..." :) Please remember that medication has an expiration date. You should keep on eye on the date of any medication you have at home.
bluejeanie bluejeanie 10 years
this stuff is a lifesaver. i'm so glad you're clearing the air about this stuff, too many crazies have women believing this is an abortion pill.
Ashlyn-Rose Ashlyn-Rose 10 years
Planned Parenthood gives out Plan B for free once a year! I grabbed some last time they did this just to keep in the medicine cabinet.
Liss1 Liss1 10 years
I was always really against this. I didn't realize it prevented you from getting pregnant i thought it aborted the baby. I guess it's not bad then. :) You learn something new everyday. Thanks.
KerryG KerryG 10 years
Thanks for clearing up misconceptions, Dear. So many people seem to equate the morning after pill with an abortion when it actually prevents you from getting pregnant in the first place, which is a very different thing.
GreenSkittlesGal GreenSkittlesGal 10 years
You can get Plan B at Target for like $35. I bought extra to keep on hand b/c it's more effective when you use it sooner.
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