PLAN B/EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION (LEVONOGESTREL) FACTSHEET
Is Plan B for me?
- Plan B is intended to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or a known or suspected
birth control failure (condom broke, late for a shot, missed pills).
- Plan B is NOT the "abortion pill" RU-486, and does not work if you are already pregnant.
- Plan B does not offer protection against infection with HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases.
How does Plan B work?
- Plan B acts primarily by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation). It may prevent the union of sperm and egg (fertilization). If fertilization does occur, Plan B may prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb (implantation).
What is Plan B?
- You may see Plan B referred to as "emergency contraception", or "EC".
- Plan B contains one of the hormones, levonorgesterel used in regular birth control pills.
- Some regular birth control pills can also work as emergency contraception. See
http://not-2-late.com/worldwide/default.asp for more details.
- There is another EC pill, and the Paragard
copper IUD can also be used as EC.
How do I use Plan B?
- To be most effective, Plan B should be taken as soon as possible, but it can
be taken up to 5 days after an accident, unprotected sex or contraceptive
Who should NOT use Plan B?
- Women who are currently pregnant.
- Women who have undiagnosed abnormal genital bleeding.
- Women who have known drug sensitivities (allergies) to progesterones.
How effective is Plan B?
- Plan B prevents 7 out of 8 expected pregnancies.
- If you take Plan B within 24 hours of unprotected sex, it reduces your risk
of pregnancy up to 95%.
- Plan B is not as effective as regular contraception. Other
methods, like the IUD, shot, or Pill, are a better way to prevent unintended pregnancy.
- This means that you could still get pregnant after taking Plan B, but it's much less likely to happen.
What if I need EC more than once in a cycle?
- Ideally, you should only take EC once in a cycle, then use condoms as a back-up until you have your next period.
- If you need to take EC again in the same cycle, you should try to take the same one you took the first time.
- If you can't take the same pill again, any EC is better than none - so take whatever you have available.
Is Plan B dangerous?
- Plan B will not terminate an existing pregnancy.
- Plan B will not damage a fetus that is already developing.
- The most common side effects are: nausea (23%), abdominal pain (stomach pain or cramps) (18%), fatigue or tiredness (17%), headache (17%), and menstrual changes, including heavier bleeding (13.8%) or lighter bleeding (12.5%).
- There should be no change to your fertility. You can still get pregnant
at a later date after using emergency contraceptives.
Where can I get Plan B?
- You can get Plan B One-Step directly from a pharmacist without a prescription.
- There may be a pharmacist's consultation fee charged in addition to the cost of the pills if you get it without a prescription.
- To avoid this fee, you can print this prescription and take it with you to
- You can get Plan B ahead of time so you have it "just in case." Ask your doctor or clinic at a regular visit or fill the prescription online at your convenience.
- If you do not have insurance, you can get a coupon from GoodRx - this will
reduce the cost of the medicine itself.
- Here are some current prices for Plan B at some local pharmacies:
- Costco: $56.00
- Safeway: $47.83 + tax
- Visitacion Valley: $40.89 + tax
- Walgreens: $56.00 (name-brand), $43.00 (generic)
Does HPV cause cervical cancer?
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An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.