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Emergency Contraceptives

If you have taken a pregnancy test and it is positive you may be confused about what to do next. Now is not the time to rush into a decision. Now is the time to get information and think about what choices you have available to you. No one can make the decision about your life or your body but YOU! If you are considering taking emergency contraception there are some things we think you should know:

What is Plan B?

Plan B is emergency contraception, a backup method to birth control. It is in the form of two levonorgestrel pills (0.75 mg in each pill) that are taken by mouth after a contraceptive fails or after unprotected sex. Levonorgestrel is a synthetic hormone used in birth control pills for over 35 years. Plan B can reduce the chances of a woman becoming pregnant when taken as directed if she has had unprotected sex. Prior to this action, Plan B was available only by prescription.

How does Plan B work?

Plan B works like a birth control pill to prevent pregnancy mainly by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary. It is possible that Plan B may also work by preventing fertilization of an egg (the uniting of sperm with the egg) or by preventing attachment (implantation) to the uterus (womb), which usually occurs beginning 7 days after release of an egg from the ovary. Plan B will not do anything to a fertilized egg already attached to the uterus. The pregnancy will continue.

Are there any side effects to Plan B?

According to reports from clinical trials, some women will experience non-serious side effects, such as nausea, stomach pain, headache, dizziness, or breast tenderness. These are similar to the side effects of regular birth control pills.

How should Plan B be administered?

Plan B should be taken orally as soon as possible and within 72 hours of unprotected sex. The second tablet should be taken 12 hours after the first tablet. Data shows Plan B is more effective the sooner treatment is started following unprotected sex.

Plan B Warnings

Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancies account for approximately 2% of all reported pregnancies. Up to 10% of pregnancies reported in clinical studies of routine use of progestin-only contraceptives are ectopic. A history of ectopic pregnancy is not a contraindication to use of this emergency contraceptive method. Healthcare providers, however, should consider the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy in women who become pregnant or complain of lower abdominal pain after taking Plan B One-Step. A follow-up physical or pelvic examination is recommended if there is any doubt concerning the general health or pregnancy status of any woman after taking Plan B One-Step.

Existing Pregnancy

Plan B One-Step is not effective in terminating an existing pregnancy.

Effects on Menses

Some women may experience spotting a few days after taking Plan B One-Step. Menstrual bleeding patterns are often irregular among women using progestin-only oral contraceptives and women using levonorgestrel for postcoital and emergency contraception. If there is a delay in the onset of expected menses beyond 1 week, consider the possibility of pregnancy.


Plan B One-Step does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) or other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Physical Examination and Follow-up

A physical examination is not required prior to prescribing Plan B One-Step. A follow-up physical or pelvic examination is recommended if there is any doubt concerning the general health or pregnancy status of any woman after taking Plan B One-Step.

Fertility Following Discontinuation

A rapid return of fertility is likely following treatment with Plan B One-Step for emergency contraception; therefore, routine contraception should be continued or initiated as soon as possible following use of Plan B One-Step to ensure ongoing prevention of pregnancy

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*The Pregnancy Center of Henry County does not prescribe nor give referrals for Plan B or any other form of contraception*