Plan B is a hormonal emergency contraceptive that can prevent pregnancy after unprotected sexual contact. Additionally, it helps reduce the risk of ectopic pregnancies by blocking egg implantation in a Fallopian tube.
It’s a safe and reliable option. However, it should only be used under the guidance of your healthcare provider.
Plan B is an OTC emergency contraceptive pill designed to help prevent pregnancy after unprotected sexual activity or failure to use birth control. It contains levonorgestrel, a progestin that works mainly by delaying ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovary) and blocking sperm from fertilizing an egg or attaching itself to the uterus.
These pills are easy to take and typically cause mild side effects that will pass quickly. However, if you experience any severe or long-lasting reactions such as lower stomach pain, bloating, weight gain, headaches or dizziness it’s essential that you speak with your doctor about the possibility of a serious health condition or allergic reaction.
Some women may experience unexpected bleeding after taking the pill, but this usually does not indicate a serious medical problem and should resolve by your next period.
Other common side effects include a heavier period the next month, nausea, lower abdominal pain and fatigue. These should all subside within 24 hours after taking the pill.
Some women may experience hormonal imbalance after using emergency contraception, due to changes in how estrogen and progesterone levels interact. This may lead to feelings of irritability, moodiness, and exhaustion.
The hormones present in the pill may disrupt your cycle for a few months, causing your period to come earlier or later than expected. While this can be an uncomfortable side effect, it should resolve itself once your cycle resumes.
If you have a history of blood clots or heart disease, emergency contraception should be avoided. Furthermore, having a higher BMI can make emergency contraception less effective as your body’s metabolism cannot support taking drugs properly.
Additionally, diabetics should consult with their physician prior to beginning emergency contraception as it could potentially disrupt your diabetes management.
Plan B can be purchased at most drug stores and pharmacies with a valid prescription from your doctor. If you need assistance getting one, ask your pharmacist for assistance. You could even try shopping for it on GoodRx; with their price match guarantee of up to 65% on emergency contraception costs.
Breast pain or discomfort
Breast pain or discomfort is a common side effect of many birth control methods. It may occur because some people are more sensitive to hormones than others, so if this applies to you, dress comfortably and avoid tight-fitting items around your chest area until the discomfort subsides.
Plan B One-Step, also known as the morning after pill, is an emergency contraceptive that works by delaying ovulation. This pill contains levonorgestrel, which is a synthetic form of progestin.
Levonorgestrel can cause side effects, but they should not last more than a few days. If you experience severe nausea or pelvic pain after taking the pill, contact your doctor promptly for further advice.
Nausea is an unfortunately common side effect of Plan B, occurring to at least 30% of women. To minimize its effects, take your pill with food in tow.
Pain in the lower abdominal area is a frequent side effect, occurring about as frequently as nausea. While this usually passes quickly, taking an anti-nausea medication or pain reliever can help ease any discomfort you may be feeling.
If your stomach is feeling queasy, try not to overeat or drink caffeine as this could aggravate the symptoms of nausea.
Plan B can often cause fatigue, but this should only last a few hours. You should be able to get up and walk without feeling completely exhausted, but remember to rest when your body is feeling low so your muscles don’t overwork themselves.
Some women may experience nausea within two hours of taking Plan B. Although this is generally not harmful, you should take another dose if this does occur.
This side effect of the pill should not interfere with your ability to work or play sports, but it may be irritating. Therefore, you may wish to take a break from exercise or other activities for a few hours.
You can still do most of your regular activities, but it’s best to avoid lifting heavy objects or exercising vigorously. Additionally, make sure you drink plenty of water and eat nutritious foods to maintain a healthy energy level.
Plan B and other emergency contraceptives containing levonorgestrel work by either blocking the release of an egg, or by stopping fertilization of an already released egg. They also thicken fluid around the cervix (cervical mucus) so sperm cannot enter.
Plan B takes approximately 1.7 hours to reach peak concentration in your bloodstream, and can then prevent ovulation for several days.
When you ovulate, a fertilized egg will be released from your ovary and travel through the fallopian tubes to attach itself to your uterus, potentially leading to pregnancy.
Due to this, it’s essential to know when you ovulate and take birth control pills or another form of contraception before doing so. Furthermore, having a condom ready during unprotected sex helps protect the cervix in case an egg is released during this time.
Experts still do not know the precise timing of ovulation. Although it can vary from woman to woman, some studies have indicated that it usually occurs between the first and second day of your period.
According to research, ovulation occurs approximately 80 percent of the time in women.
Research has indicated that women who experience earlier ovulation may be more likely to become pregnant with a Plan B. This could be because the ovaries are more active during the early part of a woman’s menstrual cycle than later on in her cycle.
Healthcare providers advise taking Plan B as soon as possible after sexual activity – ideally within 72 hours. Waiting too long could prevent ovulation from taking place at all.
Plan B causes an ovulation delay that is generally not dangerous, however it may alter your menstrual cycle in unexpected ways. This may include heavier or lighter bleeding, spotting, and longer than usual periods.
Although not a common side effect, some women who take Plan B may experience an abnormally heavier or lighter period than expected. Usually, this is harmless and does not affect pregnancy.
Ectopic pregnancy occurs when an embryo (fertilized egg) grows outside the uterus, typically in the fallopian tube or attached to the ovary. It’s a serious condition that may result in heavy bleeding and even death for the woman affected.
Symptoms can include abdominal pain, a painful vaginal discharge or an abnormal growth in your pelvic region. Your doctor can detect pregnancy through an ultrasound scan of your abdomen or by performing laparoscopy (a surgery done at a hospital).
Ectopic pregnancy can be increased by age and certain health issues like tubal sterilization, endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease. Certain medicines also increase your chances of pregnancy – such as some antibiotics and some birth control pills – so be aware of potential risks when taking medication.
A blood test can confirm a pregnancy, while an ultrasound scan shows where the embryo is growing. The test measures levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone more prevalent in ectopic pregnancies than other pregnancies.
If you experience symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy, contact your doctor right away to receive treatment. This can prevent the tissue from growing and damaging other parts of your body such as your fallopian tubes or uterus.
Your doctor may suggest conservative management, which involves waiting to see if the ectopic pregnancy tissue will pass out of your cervix on its own. This may take several weeks or months depending on your symptoms and uterus’ condition.
You will be asked to return for regular blood tests and ultrasound scans to monitor your progress. If the hCG levels don’t drop as expected, medication or surgery may be recommended in order to successfully remove the ectopic pregnancy.
Another type of treatment is expectant management, which involves keeping you under observation and watching for signs that the ectopic pregnancy tissue will pass from your cervix on its own. While this approach is less common than treating it immediately, it can be helpful in certain circumstances.
It’s essential to remember that treatment for ectopic pregnancy can be life-saving. When diagnosed and treated early, most women are able to have healthy pregnancies after their ectopic pregnancy.