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Plan B: 8 Facts All Women Need to Know

What is Plan B, how does it work, and what are the potential side effects? Click here to find out the answers along with other need to know facts about Plan B.

Plan B is a specific brand name for the morning after pill. Over ten percent of women have used the morning after pill or some form of emergency contraception in the United States.

But, what do you need to know about Plan B specifically? What is it used for? And do you need it?

Read on for all the information that you ever needed to know about Plan B.

1. Plan B Isn't Preventative

You can't take Plan B before you have unprotected sex, meaning that it's not preventative. You'll want to use other forms of birth control to prevent pregnancy in advance.

Plan B also doesn't end a pregnancy after it has started, since it works by delaying your ovulation schedule. This is important to remember for your long-term family planning needs.

2. Plan B Does Not Impact Your Long-Term Fertility

If you don't feel ready to have a baby, but you want to in the future, you might be worried about taking Plan B. However, you should know that Plan B won't hurt your fertility in the long term.

When you do plan to have kids, make sure you look into both female and male fertility testing to confirm that all systems are a go.

3. Plan B Is Only Effective Up to a Certain Weight

It goes overlooked a lot, but unfortunately, Plan B is only effective in people up to a certain weight. If you currently weigh over 155 pounds, or if you have a BMI over 30, Plan B will be less effective in preventing pregnancy.  If you weigh over 175 pounds, Plan B often doesn't work at all.

This is a very important factor to keep in mind when you're considering your family planning needs.

If you weigh over 155 pounds, you may want to consider another form of emergency contraception, rather than Plan B.

4. You Have To Take It Quickly

Unfortunately, Plan B is only effective if you take it within five days of having unprotected sex. And, the sooner you manage to take it, the more effective it will be.

If you take Plan B within three days, it will be between 75% and 89% effective at preventing pregnancy. If you take the morning after pill within 24 hours, Plan B will be even more effective.

Luckily, Plan B is available over the counter from most pharmacies in the United States. If you don't have time to waste, you can even order from Amazon or other online retailers.

5. Some Medications Make Plan B Less Effective

Like with birth control, there are some medications that interact with Plan B and make it less effective. Specific antibiotics and antifungal medications, for example, can make the morning-after pill less effective.

Some medications that prevent seizures can also make Plan B less effective. Make sure you speak to your doctor about possible conflicts in your medication before you take Plan B for the first time.

6. Plan B Does Have Side Effects

While Plan B is mostly safe, it does have some minor, short-term side effects. It can cause changes to normal menstruation patterns, such as delaying your period.

Plan B can also cause nausea, upset stomach, fatigue, spotting, stomach pains or cramps, headaches, or dizziness.

7. Plan B is Similar In Composition to Birth Control

Plan B is actually made up of the same components as regular birth control pills.

Plan B, like most emergency contraceptive pills, contains levonorgestrel, although some emergency contraceptive pills contain ulipristal acetate instead.

However, neither Plan B nor oral contraceptive birth control pills prevent STIs. So, you should combine your use with a barrier method if you're sleeping with multiple partners, and always get tested regularly.

This also means that you shouldn't use Plan B as your regular form of birth control. It's more expensive than normal birth control, and far less convenient to take regularly. Instead, get a prescription for a regular birth control pill if you're trying to prevent pregnancy for a long period of time.

8. Be Prepared After You Take Plan B

You may not know this, but if you don't begin using a different form of birth control after taking Plan B, you're actually more likely to become pregnant. So, if you've recently used Plan B, make sure you start a new form before beginning your active sex life. Some forms of birth control you may want to consider include:

  • Tubal ligation or vasectomy (for the most permanent birth control options)
  • Condoms, internal condoms, sponges, diaphragms, cervical caps, and other external birth control measures
  • Oral contraceptive pills
  • The shot (progestin)
  • The ring or the patch
  • The implant
  • Copper or hormonal intrauterine devices

The form of birth control you choose will differ based on your life circumstances and future fertility needs. There are no wrong answers — it's all about what's right for you.

If you're having trouble choosing, talk to your doctor about all your options so you can get all the information that you need.

Know Your Plan B Information

Hopefully, you should now know everything you need to know about Plan B.  Keep it in mind for the next time you find yourself in a pickle after having unprotected sex.

Are you trying to have a child in the near future? Order a fertility kit for men today.

This information on the site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Dadi Inc. makes no representation and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of information contained herein, and such information is subject to change without notice. You are encouraged to confirm any information obtained from or through this web site or article with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician.

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