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Pregnancy and Plan B - When it Fails

So, you took Plan B, thinking it would prevent a possible pregnancy, but it failed, and now you find out you are pregnant anyway. You may have any number of questions running through your mind. How did this happen? What are my options now? Can I take it again? If I choose to continue the pregnancy, will the health of the pregnancy be affected? What if I don’t want to continue the pregnancy?

Avenue Women’s Center is a limited medical clinic providing services tailored for women facing an unexpected pregnancy. Our free medical-grade pregnancy tests are highly accurate just ten days after possible conception. Our caring pregnancy consultants provide nonjudgmental support and helpful information on all your pregnancy options—abortion, adoption, and parenting. Call, chat, email, or text today for an appointment at one of our five DuPage County locations.

How does Plan B work?

Plan B, or levonorgestrel tablets (sometimes referred to as the “morning after pill”) is a hormone that women may choose to take and use as “emergency” contraception. Depending on where a woman is in her cycle, the hormone used in Plan B may work by: 1) preventing or inhibiting ovulation; 2) interfering with fertilization; or 3) by inhibiting implantation of an already fertilized egg. If taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, levonorgestrel, or Plan B, “can reduce the risk of pregnancy by up to 89%”*

How does Plan B “fail?”

If you take Plan B as directed, yet still find out you are pregnant, there are two possibilities—either you were already pregnant prior to taking Plan B, or Plan B “failed”, and an egg was fertilized and implanted despite having taken it. If you were already pregnant prior to taking Plan B, then Plan B will not end the pregnancy. If you weren’t already pregnant and took Plan B after unprotected sex as directed, there is still a chance it will fail. If you do suspect pregnancy, even after taking Plan B, then it is important to confirm whether or not you are pregnant so you can begin thinking through next steps.

Does Plan B affect a current pregnancy?

Sometimes a woman who finds out she is pregnant after taking Plan B, will wonder if it will affect the health of her pregnancy. While consulting with a medical professional is highly recommended for any questions you have, research shows that there is likely no increased risk to the health of pregnancy that occurred after taking Plan B nor to a pregnancy that may have existed prior to taking Plan B. However, it is very important to discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor as you plan your next steps.

If you’d like to find out if Plan B failed, contact Avenue Women’s Center right away. Our pregnancy tests will provide you with the answers you need. In addition, our free pregnancy consultations will give you the information and resources you need to take your next step in a pregnancy decision. Contact us today for an appointment at one of our locations in Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn / Lombard, Naperville, West Chicago, and Wood Dale, Illinois. We look forward to hearing from you!


References:

  • Web MD. (2018, June) Levonorgestrel Emergency Contraception. Retrieved from: https://www.webmd.com/sex/birth-control/plan-b#1
  • Mayo Clinic (2018, June) Morning After Pill. Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/morning-after-pill/about/pac-20394730
  • Web MD. (2005) Fetus Unharmed by ‘Morning After’ Pill. Retrieved from: https://www.webmd.com/sex/birth-control/news/20050825/fetus-unharmed-by-morning-after-pill

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.

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