Plan B (levonorgestrel) is an emergency contraceptive that is available over-the-counter in many pharmacies and retailers to prevent pregnancy in cases of unprotected sex or birth control failure. It comes as a nonprescription pill.
According to research, morning-after pills may be less effective for individuals weighing over 155 pounds or with higher BMI. More study is necessary in order to fully comprehend this effect.
What is Plan B?
Plan B is an emergency contraceptive pill containing levonorgestrel, designed for immediate use after any unprotected sexual contact has taken place and should be taken within 72 hours after engaging in unprotected sexual relations. Studies have proven it to be approximately 89% effective at preventing pregnancy; its mechanism works by delaying ovulation; therefore it works best when taken before this event occurs – taking it after may not have the same effectiveness, therefore taking it as soon after unprotected sexual encounter as possible would ensure optimal effectiveness; additionally it doesn’t offer protection from sexually transmitted infections so should be used alongside other birth control methods for maximum efficacy.
Some individuals taking Plan B may experience side effects. Most side effects are mild and will usually pass on their own; however, if you’re experiencing severe lower abdominal pain lasting more than five weeks without relief it’s wise to seek medical assistance as this could be an early indicator of an ectopic pregnancy which needs immediate medical intervention as it could be fatal if left untreated.
The FDA requires drug manufacturers to include only information essential for the safe and effective use of their medication on its label, so no details on Plan B’s mechanism of action need to appear on its Drug Facts label; however, they will still include this data in its Consumer Information Leaflet.
Some women worry that Plan B won’t work for them due to their weight or body mass index (BMI). While research does indicate it may be less effective among people with higher BMIs, in most cases it still surpasses 90% effectiveness and most health insurance plans cover its cost if prescribed or can provide evidence proving you need sexual relations because of a medical issue.
Plan B One-Step can be obtained over-the-counter at most pharmacies across the US and several Planned Parenthood clinics as well as online. Furthermore, Medicaid or other forms of health insurance that cover abortions usually make this medication free to access.
What is Levonorgestrel?
Levonorgestrel, commonly found in birth control pills and hormone therapies, can serve as an emergency contraceptive or as a backup method of birth control. It’s available over-the-counter as the Plan B One-Step morning-after pill; its effectiveness involves stopping or delaying ovulation; it may even prevent sperm from fertilizing an egg and possibly stopping pregnancy from taking place.
The morning-after pill is safe to use for most women; however, it will not work if you are already pregnant. If unsure, always take a pregnancy test prior to using the morning-after pill; should any complications arise after using it, consult with a healthcare provider regarding options.
There is no medical evidence suggesting the morning-after pill could harm an unborn baby, though you should avoid taking it if you have allergies to any of its ingredients or have had previous pelvic inflammatory disease.
Levonorgestrel may interact with certain medications, including HIV drugs and antiseizure medicines. If you take any of these drugs before beginning Plan B treatment, be sure to inform your healthcare provider.
As soon as possible, make sure that you inform your doctor of any other health conditions you have such as heart problems or high blood pressure so they can ensure you can safely take your pill.
As well as helping prevent pregnancy, morning-after pills can also assist you in getting your period back on schedule if it has been absent for some time. Although this medication may cause bleeding or spotting, its intensity is usually lighter or heavier than your typical cycle and may occur earlier or later than expected.
Since morning-after pills do not provide complete protection against sexually transmitted infections or diseases, condoms should always be used when engaging in sexual activity. An intrauterine device (IUD) may also serve as an effective long-term method of birth control.
How does Plan B work?
Plan B’s levonorgestrel works by mimicking natural hormone progesterone and delaying ovulation to make sperm unable to reach eggs, thickening cervical mucous to make penetration harder, and thickening cervical mucous thicker to further help block access for sperm to your uterus. You can take it up to five days after unprotected sex; however, its success rates usually improve significantly if taken within 72 hours after having unprotected sexual contact.
Plan B’s effectiveness can depend on various factors, including weight and where in your cycle you are. For optimal results, taking it within 72 hours after unprotected sex should be ideal; however, up to five days post unprotected penis-in-vaginal sex may also suffice.
Recent leaks of confidential Plan B One-Step pill data sparked conversations and inquiries on social media about whether Plan B works for people who are overweight. Searches on Google to get an answer have seen increases, even though emergency contraceptive doesn’t specify an upper weight limit, or any possible reasons why its efficacy would decrease in heavier women.
Experts hypothesize that heavier people may have more blood in their bodies, meaning their medications have less of an impactful response. Furthermore, experts believe there may be additional fat cells present that store and dilute the medications to dampen or even lessen its effectiveness.
However, research leading up to Plan B and other over-the-counter emergency contraceptives such as Next Choice One Dose and Take Action wasn’t conducted with obese or over-the-counter individuals in mind, so further investigations may be required in this area to ascertain if its effectiveness differs among this population group.
At this point, it’s important to remember that Plan B can have an effect on when and how much your period bleeds, so it is vital that if it seems late or heavy you notify a healthcare provider immediately. In addition, other forms of birth control – like condom use or abstaining from sexual relations altogether – should also be employed in order to prevent sexually transmitted infections like herpes genitalis, chlamydia, hepatitis B or even AIDS.
Does Plan B make you fat?
As the Supreme Court deliberates its future on abortion, there has been a viral rumor regarding Plan B–also known as morning after pills–that could result in its being ineffective for people over certain weight limits.
Concerns are being voiced that those who are overweight or obese may not be able to use Plan B effectively, prompting some weight-related research on its effects for different body types. Studies have indicated that BMI affects effectiveness of EC methods containing levonorgestrel such as Plan B; however, not enough data exists yet to warrant changes to packaging or recommendations, according to Rachel Bowman MD from University of Texas Austin Dell Medical School.
At present, the FDA does not advise that people over 155 lbs or with a BMI of 30 or higher take Plan B One-Step; it remains safe if taken and still greatly decreases your chance of pregnancy after unprotected sexual encounters; but for people in these categories they may wish to consider alternative forms of contraceptives like Ella or copper IUDs instead.
No one knows exactly why those with higher BMI experience lower levels of levonorgestrel in their bloodstreams, though one theory could be that people with more fat stores metabolize the drug differently from those without as many stores of fat. Another possibility could be increased fluid retention which reduces efficacy.
Plan B is an emergency contraceptive that has long been popular with women of all ages and backgrounds, often relied upon for use. It is important for all people to become acquainted with all available options (even those that may require more upkeep), including those like ella that might provide greater effectiveness; healthcare professionals can advise about which are suitable. In particular, Plan B often has side effects and requires refrigeration while ella lasts five days with no side effects and refrigeration required compared with its competitors.