Plan B is an effective and widely-used emergency contraception option, but may not suit everyone and can be expensive to purchase.
Plan B’s primary ingredient, levonorgestrel, acts like the sexual hormone progesterone to prevent ovulation – the cornerstone of pregnancy. This drug helps ensure an increased chance of successful conception by delaying the time between ovulation and conception.
It’s not effective for everyone
Plan B is an emergency contraceptive pill that can help prevent pregnancy after unprotected sexual encounter. For best results, take it within 72 hours after experiencing unprotected sexual encounter; most locations offer it without needing a valid prescription.
As an effective contraceptive method, this pill works by blocking ovulation – the natural process that triggers egg production – as well as blocking your ovaries’ ability to release them into your fallopian tube and fertilize, thus preventing pregnancy.
Plan B may work differently depending on your age and body mass index (BMI), for example it’s less effective for people who weigh over 165 pounds or have a BMI greater than 25.
Taken more than three days after engaging in unprotected sex, the pill’s effectiveness may become less efficient due to your ovaries having started producing eggs which makes its use harder.
After 72 hours have passed since you had unprotected sexual encounters, taking an oral contraceptive could reduce its effectiveness by up to 40%.
Therefore, it is recommended that only use Plan B within 72-hour window. You could also try another form of emergency contraception such as Ella.
When taken within three days of engaging in unprotected sex, ella may be more effective at decreasing your chances of pregnancy than Plan B; however, if any questions arise as to its suitability for you it’s always advisable to speak to your healthcare provider first.
Women taking ella or Plan B may experience nausea and vomiting more frequently, which should be discussed with their healthcare provider to see if anti-nausea medication could be of assistance.
Women taking Plan B may notice that their periods become heavier and irregular after taking it; this is likely caused by your body reacting naturally to its hormones; fertility will return to normal within a few cycles so this should not be cause for alarm.
Plan B emergency contraception can be purchased over-the-counter from local drug stores, pharmacies and online for as little as $50 without insurance coverage.
At least it’s getting cheaper: The Food and Drug Administration recently approved generic forms of Plan B One-Step (a pill to take within 72 hours after unprotected sexual encounter), meaning you can purchase them without a valid prescription. But the costs can still be prohibitive for low income earners.
The pill works by delaying ovulation and changing the lining of the female reproductive tract in order to lower chances of egg fertilization by sperm, potentially stopping any egg from being implanted into uterus.
Some individuals may experience nausea or vomiting as a side effect of Plan B, although it shouldn’t be serious or long-lasting. If this side effect persists or worsens significantly, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
Due to Plan B being an emergency contraception method, it’s essential that you take it according to its directions and on time. If you miss a dose, take another as soon as you remember if necessary.
If you’re uncertain of how long you should take Plan B, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist. Some individuals find they require more than one dose per day in order for the pill to work effectively.
Before beginning to take your medication daily, read and follow the directions provided on the package for dosage instructions. If necessary, seek medical advice regarding taking more than the recommended dosage; in such cases they may suggest starting off by taking smaller doses until reaching desired levels.
Some women are advised to take an extra pill after ovulation so as to prolong its effects for as long as possible; this could lead to unwanted side effects like heavier bleeding or delayed periods.
If you’re on a tight budget, check with your local health department or Planned Parenthood for discounts on emergency contraception. They can also assist in determining whether Plan B and other birth control methods are covered by health insurance plans.
It’s not safe
Plan B is an emergency contraceptive that should only be used as an interim measure or when other forms of birth control fail, or you are uncertain if you’re pregnant. Studies show it to be effective at preventing pregnancy in 75-89% of users when taken correctly; though that percentage varies among women.
Changes to the female reproductive tract’s lining help decrease sperm’s chances of finding an egg to fertilize and avoids implanting any fertilized eggs in the uterus.
Some women using Plan B may experience some spotting between cycles; it’s harmless but may be uncomfortable or even painful. Furthermore, some may notice an increase in menstrual bleeding which is completely normal.
Appropriate timing and follow up are crucial for taking the pill effectively, with 72 hours between unprotected sexual encounters and 12 hours post dose being optimal. If you vomit within an hour after taking your first dose, consult with your healthcare provider regarding whether that dose should be repeated.
If you belong to a health insurance plan, be sure to ask whether emergency contraception is covered. Most plans offer it, though you will require a valid prescription from a physician in order to access this service.
Plan B is available at most pharmacies and may even be free at some family planning clinics operated by Planned Parenthood.
Plan B is available in different brands and forms (one or two pills). Although more costly than other emergency contraception measures, its value should never be discounted when placed in an urgent situation.
Considerations should also be given to how Plan B may be less effective for people who are overweight, according to Mother Jones. This may occur as its effects could alter its metabolism differently in women who are heavier than average.
But it’s essential that if your weight concerns are hindering you from using Plan B, consult your doctor first before proceeding with taking action. They can advise you as to the safe weight range for you as well as recommend other forms of emergency contraception that might work better with your lifestyle.
It’s not easy to take
Plan B One-Step and Next Choice can usually be found in most grocery store’s family planning aisle. Each pack typically costs $50; however, some plans offer discounted plans.
This pill works by postponing ovulation and altering the lining of your female reproductive tract to slow sperm and egg transport, decreasing pregnancy risks while also decreasing your chances of contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Effectiveness varies with each woman; however, research suggests it to be approximately 95 percent effective when taken within 24 hours after engaging in unprotected sexual activity.
But if taken later than 48-72 hours post-unprotected sexual encounter or once ovulation has already taken place, these pills might not work at all.
Morning-after pills (commonly referred to as Plan B) work best before ovulation has taken place; otherwise they may only stop sperm from fertilizing an egg but won’t prevent implantation (when fertilized eggs become implanted into your uterus).
Even then, pregnancy cannot be guaranteed by taking this drug; other factors still come into play such as her BMI level reducing its effectiveness.
Another factor which may make the medication ineffective is that it has been known to cause abdominal pain in about 18% of users. While this number may seem low, sudden or abnormal cramping should always be viewed as a warning signal and treated immediately with medical advice.
Plan B’s official website indicates that side effects should resolve themselves within several days and most of them are non-serious; however, some women experience pelvic pain – something to be wary of when taking Plan B.
Other side effects may include nausea, bloating, fatigue and headache. While these should only last a few days at most, any prolonged symptoms should be taken seriously.
Nausea can be a common side effect of Plan B, although less frequently than with Yuzpe. If this happens to you, consult with your physician regarding anti-nausea medication to help alleviate it.