If you’re sexually active, there’s always a chance you could get pregnant, even if you’re using protection. Perhaps you’re considering Plan B to avoid an unplanned pregnancy. However, Plan B isn’t foolproof, nor is it without its risks. It’s important to be aware of how Plan B could affect your body and what to do if it fails!
Today, we’re discussing Plan B—including how it works, the side effects you may experience, and what to do if you still get pregnant after taking it. Keep reading to learn more!
How Does Plan B Work?
Plan B is a type of emergency contraception (also known as emergency birth control or contraception) that aims to lower the risk of pregnancy by preventing or delaying ovulation. It’s important to know that Plan B (and any other form of emergency birth control) should not be used in place of regular birth control. It should also be noted that Plan B tends to be less effective for women who weigh 165 pounds or more.
Is Plan B an Abortion Pill? Can Plan B Cause Miscarriage?
Although they seem similar, Plan B and the abortion pill aren’t considered the same things. The difference is that the goal of Plan B is to prevent or delay ovulation, while the abortion pill ends a pregnancy that has already begun.
That being said, Plan B can terminate a pregnancy by preventing a fertilized egg from implanting into the uterus. The embryo never has the chance to develop into a viable pregnancy and is eventually miscarried.
Does Plan B Have Side Effects?
Like any medication, Plan B does have side effects. It’s important to be aware of how it could affect your body, so you can protect your health! Common side effects of Plan B include:
Cramps or abdominal pain
Nausea or vomiting
Allergic reaction to levonorgestrel (a hormone found in Plan B)
Does Plan B Cause Irregular Periods?
As mentioned above, Plan B can cause irregular periods, which can be stressful to deal with if you’re concerned about an unplanned pregnancy. Your period could be delayed for up to a week and you may experience bleeding between periods or heavier bleeding during your next period.
If you experience bleeding or spotting for more than a week or severe lower abdominal pain three to five weeks after taking Plan B, contact your doctor immediately. These symptoms can indicate that you became pregnant, but a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy occurred.
What to Do if Plan B Fails
If your period is delayed for more than three to four weeks after taking Plan B, it may be a sign that it failed. The next step is to determine whether or not you’re pregnant. The thought of confirming your pregnancy can feel paralyzing, but you don’t have to do it alone! Consider scheduling a free pregnancy test and free ultrasound at GMPC Medical!
If your results come back positive, don’t panic. Our compassionate patient advocates are here to help you explore all of your pregnancy options so that you can make an informed and empowered decision! We will answer all of your questions and equip you to take your next steps with confidence!
We’re here. We care. We provide the support you deserve! To schedule your appointment, please call (706) 745-0051 or text (706) 403-1017!
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, June 3). Morning-after pill. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/morning-after-pill/about/pac-20394730#
Cleland, K., Raymond, E. G., Westley, E., & Trussell, J. (2014, December). Emergency contraception review: Evidence-based recommendations for clinicians. Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4216625/
Embryocidal Potential of Modern Contraceptives. AAPLOG. (2020, January 15). Retrieved from https://aaplog.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/FINAL-CO-7-Embryocidal-Potential-of-Modern-Contraception-1.20.20.pdf