What is Plan B: Emergency Contraceptive?

Plan B contraceptiveEmergency Contraceptive is a very trending topic especially among young women and health care providers. Plan B is a medication that can be taken to help prevent Pregnancy.

It is also been known as the “morning after pill” because the goal is to be able to take this medication after sexual activity to prevent a pregnancy.

Plan B One-Step is different than most Emergency Contraceptive Medications.

Plan B only has progestrin while most Emergency Contraceptives have both Progestin and Estrogen.

With that being said, this medication has brought a fair amount of controversy to the topic of contraceptive treatment. Much of what is being said is done because of the personal nature of this medication but also the lack of complete understanding.

The goal is not to terminate an existing pregnancy

Typical contraceptive medication is taken prior to sexual activity – sometimes for months to prevent the body from getting pregnant. Other forms of contraception can be used at the time of sexual intercourse and may include condom or spermicides or barrier protection.

Plan B – is a packaged instructions with two pills that can be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sexual activity.

–  The first tablet should be taken within the 72 hours

–  The second table should be taken 12 hours after the first tablet.

Levonogestrel is the medication that is within the white tablet. It is typically dosed at 0.75mg.

It is believed that the pills are more effective the sooner they are taken after intercourse.

Some studies have shown that both doses can be taken together up to 120 hours after unprotected sex.

If you are 17 years or older – the medication can be Over-the-counter.

If you are 16 or younger – a prescription is required.

It is likely that Plan B will be available to all ages without a prescription at some time in the near future.

Side Effects

–  Nausea
–  Vomiting
–  Diarrhea
–  Abdominal pain
–  Fatigue
–  Headache
–  Menstrual Changes
–  Dizziness
–  Breast tenderness
–  Others


Facts to Remember about Plan B One-Step

1.)  It is intended to prevent pregnancy AFTER unprotected sexual activity

2.)  It contains only levonorgestrel – a progestin

3.)  It is not the same thing at Mifeprex – an abortion pill found in the United States.

4.)  If you are already pregnant – do not take the medication – it will not work.

5.)  If you take Plan B while pregnant – it will not cause birth defects

6.)  Usually 1 dose is taken than the 2nd dose is taken 12 hours later.

7.)  If both doses are taken at the same time – no decrease in effectiveness or increase in symptoms will be seen.

8.)  Plan B is not as effective at preventing pregnancy as routine contraception such as birth control or condoms.

9.)  Some Emergency Contraceptives contain both Estrogen and progestin.

10.)  Plan B is safe for almost all women.

11.)  This does not protect against sexually transmitted infections including HIV.

12.)  In some states, Plan B is available over the counter at select pharmacies

13.)  Plan B costs around $45 when obtained directly from a pharmacist without a prescription

14.)  Making Plan B more easily available has not shown increased risk-taking.

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