15 Things To Know About The Morning-After Pill
You probably have some lingering questions about Plan B. Wouldn’t you rather get the answers now, instead of when the clock is ticking after unprotected sex? Here are 15 things to know about the morning-after pill.
How little time you really have
If you can take the pill within 24 hours of unprotected sex, it is 95 percent effective. If you wait up to 72 hours, the effectiveness drops to 89 percent.
It’s all about your cycle
If you are ovulating when you have unprotected sex, you want to take the morning after pill right away. How fertile (or not fertile) you are when you take the pill will determine how effective it is. Most women don’t know exactly when they ovulate though, so just take the pill as soon as possible after unprotected sex.
It doesn’t kill anything
Many confuse plan B with an abortion pill. Plan B does not work if you are already pregnant—it only helps prevent fertilization of an egg. Plan B, when effective, works by delaying ovulation.
It has similar elements of birth control
Plan B contains a synthetic form of progestin, which is the same hormone in birth control pills. Plan B just has a lot more of it.
A serious side effect
You may vomit after taking Plan B. If this happens, you need to call a pharmacist or doctor right away to determine if you need to take another dose. Do not just immediately take another dose; this might be too much on your system.
There are generic pills
Some pharmacies might carry the pill under the name My Way or Next Choice Dose One. These work the same way as Plan B so don’t worry about the brand name.
There’s an age restriction on the generics
My Way and Next Choice One Dose can have age restrictions (17 in most states). Plan B One-Step has no age restriction, and can be sold over the counter to anyone.
It can change the lining of your uterus
In some cases, the Plan B pill works by altering the lining of your uterus to make it more difficult for an egg to be fertilized.
It has a couple of chances to work
Plan B can either work by preventing an egg from leaving the ovary in the first place. But, if an egg is released, the pill can still stop sperm from fertilizing it.
The new Plan B
You probably know of the pill you take within 72 hours of having unprotected sex, but there is also one you can take up to five days after the incident. It’s called Ella, and it is just as effective as the original Plan B.
Another version of Plan B
There is another product that will postpone ovulation, but it’s not a pill. A copper IUD, if placed in you within five days of unprotected sex, can also prevent pregnancy.
Your pharmacist might not give it to you
In some states, pharmacists have the right to deny you the morning after pill, at their own discretion.
Men have a tough time getting it
Studies found that as many as 20% of men who’ve tried to get the morning after pill for their partners were shut down. Some pharmacists claimed they wanted to see the woman who it was for before handing the pill over.
Schools are handing it out
Several public schools in New York keep Plan B in stock in the school health center for their students.
In Europe, there’s a weight limit on users
One morning after pill manufacturer in Europe warned users the pill is not effective in women over 176 pounds.
In America, there is a weight limit, too
Research has found that the morning after pill’s effectiveness drops drastically in women over 165 pounds.