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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 contraceptive 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.

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 failure.
  • Plan B can be taken in 1 dose - both pills can be taken at once, OR
  • Plan B can be taken in 2 doses, the first as soon as possible; the second tablet, 12 hours later.

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?

  • In a clinical trial, Plan B reduced the expected number of pregnancies by 89%.
  • After intercourse (without contraception), the expected pregnancy rate is 8%. Correct use of Plan B reduces this rate to 1%.
  • Plan B is not as effective as regular contraception. Other hormonal methods, like the 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.

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.
  • 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.
  • For more information on emergency contraception (e.g. all the options and where and how to get it), click here: Not-2-Late.
   
 
Last modified on Thursday, October 03, 2013.
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