Plan B: Is It Right For Me?


If you or someone you know had sexual intercourse and you regret it or worse, you were assaulted or raped, you may be afraid that an unwanted pregnancy could be next. Even if protection or contraception was involved, the fear of an unwanted pregnancy is real. First, if you were assaulted or raped, it is important that you go to the emergency room of your local hospital to be sure that there isn’t additional trauma internally. Second, don’t panic, you still have options. You may immediately think of taking an emergency contraception like Plan B. Plan B has been around for a while but what is it and is it right for you? 

What Is Plan B?

Plan B is a brand of emergency contraception (also known as the “morning-after pill”) used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. It is intended for use as a backup contraceptive method and is not intended for regular use as a primary form of birth control.

Plan B contains levonorgestrel, a synthetic hormone that is also used in some birth control pills. It works by preventing ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovary) and may also affect the lining of the uterus and the movement of sperm, making it less likely for fertilization to occur.

Plan B is most effective when taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex, but it can be effective up to 72 hours (3 days) after intercourse. 

It’s important to note that Plan B is not 100% effective at preventing pregnancy and should not be used as a regular form of contraception. It also does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If you have had unprotected sex and are concerned about the risk of pregnancy, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider to discuss your options.

What Are The Side Effects Of Plan B?

Plan B, like any medication, can have potential risks and side effects so it’s important to consult a healthcare provider for personalized advice. Here are some common risks associated with Plan B:

  • Nausea: One of the most common side effects, nausea, may occur in up to one third of users.
  • Menstrual Changes: Plan B can cause changes in menstrual bleeding, such as spotting or irregular bleeding.
  • Dizziness: Some individuals may experience dizziness or lightheadedness.
  • Vomiting: While less common than nausea, vomiting can occur after taking Plan B.
  • Allergic Reactions: In rare cases, some individuals may experience an allergic reaction to Plan B, which can manifest as rash, itching, or swelling of the face, tongue, or throat.
  • Ectopic Pregnancy: While extremely rare, there is a small risk that Plan B may fail to prevent pregnancy, and if pregnancy occurs, there is a slightly higher risk of ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus).
  • Other side effects include abdominal pain, cramping, fatigue, headache, and breast tenderness.

Managing Risks Of Plan B

To manage the risks associated with Plan B, it’s important to use the medication correctly and be aware of potential side effects. Here are some tips for managing the risks:

  • Use as directed: Take Plan B exactly as directed on the package or as instructed by your healthcare provider. This includes taking the correct dosage and following the recommended timing guidelines.
  • Be aware of side effects: Be prepared for the potential side effects and know when to seek medical attention if they occur.
  • Monitor for allergic reactions: While rare, some individuals may experience allergic reactions to Plan B. Watch for signs such as rash, itching, or swelling of the face, tongue, or throat. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience these symptoms.
  • Consider other options: If you have concerns about the risks of Plan B or if you experience severe side effects, consider discussing alternative options with a healthcare provider. 
  • Follow Up with Healthcare Provider: After taking Plan B, consider following up with your healthcare provider. They can provide additional guidance, answer any questions you may have, and discuss ongoing options to prevent future unplanned pregnancies.

How Do I Find What’s Right For Me?

Pregnancy scares can be a lot to navigate. We understand. There are a lot of options to consider, and knowing what’s right for you can be difficult. 

Your best possible next step is to consult with a trusted medical professional to get answers about your unique medical needs and learn more about Plan B or what options might be right for you. Talking through your options with someone may also help to put your mind at ease. 

At Bella Medical Clinic, we are here to help with free medical pregnancy services as well as a safe space to navigate your pregnancy decision. Our medical professionals want to meet you where you are on your journey. Schedule your free appointment today to learn more about your options and get your questions answered. 

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Why Do I Need A Pap Test?

If you are sexually active, it is recommended that you have regular Pap tests, also known as Pap smears, as part of your routine healthcare.