Are you currently taking Plan B, or considering it as an option to prevent an unexpected pregnancy? If you are, and you’re setting aside time to learn about this medication, then you’re already taking measures to safeguard your health and make an informed choice. In this blog, we’ll discuss what Plan B is (including what it does and doesn’t do). We’ll briefly explore how it may affect a woman’s body. And, we’ll discuss how early pregnancy services may be useful, or may become useful, to someone with questions about Plan B.
Avenue Women’s Center is a first-step pregnancy clinic that empowers persons to make knowledgeable decisions concerning their wellness. Our caring team understands that anyone facing a possible unexpected pregnancy could be facing many other potential challenges. We’re here to help you access the comprehensive support you need, through our own no-cost early pregnancy services, ongoing emotional support, and information on resources in your area.
Learn more about Avenue! We provide free medical-grade pregnancy tests, pregnancy consultations, and more!
What is Plan B?
Plan B (aka, the morning-after pill) is a kind of emergency contraception, taken after unprotected sex or after another birth control method has failed. Its purpose is to prevent pregnancy mainly by delaying or preventing ovulation. There are two types of morning-after pills: those that contain levonorgestrel (Plan B One-Step), and those that contain ulipristal acetate (ella).
According to Mayo Clinic, Plan B does not end a pregnancy that has already implanted itself in the uterus. This sets it apart from mifepristone (Mifeprex), which is the first of two drugs administered in a medication abortion. Plan B also does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases or offer lasting protection against pregnancy.
What are the Possible Physical Effects of Plan B?
Plan B may effectively prevent pregnancy. However, it’s generally considered to be less effective than other contraceptive methods, and it’s not intended for routine use. Some common side effects include:
- Tenderness of the breasts
- Bleeding between menstrual cycles or heavier periods
- Delayed periods
- Pain in the lower abdominal area
These symptoms may last for just a few days. Although the physical effects are temporary, they may cause added confusion for a person who’s already concerned that she may be pregnant.
Consulting a Medical Professional
If you’re considering using Plan B, it would be wise to speak with a medical professional about your personal health history. Plan B may or may not be a viable option for you, depending on factors like any allergies you may have and which medications you’re already taking. There may also be times when it’s important for your own safety to seek medical care after Plan B has been used. For example, bleeding or spotting that lasts over a week or abdominal pain that occurs weeks after Plan B has been taken, may indicate a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy located outside of the uterus, which is potentially life-threatening).
If you’re using Plan B or thinking about trying it, chances are, you’re taking active steps to avoid an unexpected pregnancy. If you are concerned you may have gotten pregnant, with or without taking Plan B, Avenue is here for you. Our free medical-grade pregnancy tests offer results you can trust. And our caring staff is here to provide accurate information and compassionate support.
Discover our free first-step pregnancy services! Our expert staff is committed to providing care with the highest standards of professionalism, competency, and compassion.
Mayo Clinic. (2022, June). Morning-after pill. Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/morning-after-pill/about/pac-20394730
Reviewed by Patricia Kuenzi, APN-CNP, MSN, ANP, PNP.
The information provided here is general in nature. It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention. Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.