Can I Take Plan B Before Sex?

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Also known as the morning-after pill, Plan B is used if your birth control method fails or if you have unprotected sex. The medication works by preventing ovulation and lowering the risk of sperm fertilizing an egg.

There’s a lot of misinformation about emergency contraception pills, and many people have misconceptions about how the medication works. Separating fact from fiction can help you make the best decision for your situation.

What is Plan B?

Plan B, also known as the morning-after pill, is an emergency form of contraception that can prevent pregnancy if you’ve had unprotected sex. It works by preventing the ovary from releasing an egg and blocking sperm from fertilizing it. Plan B is usually 95% effective if you take it within 24 hours, and 89% effective if you take it 72 hours after unprotected sex. However, it may be less effective if you’re ovulating or weigh more than 155 pounds. If this is the case, try a different brand of emergency contraception, like Ella.

Plan B contains the hormone levonorgestrel, which works in a few different ways to prevent pregnancy. It can delay ovulation, block sperm from fertilizing an egg, or change the endometrium so that an implant doesn’t grow. It’s available over the counter and under the brand names Plan B One-Step, Next Choice, or Take Action.

Most experts agree that the morning-after pill won’t have any long-term effects on fertility if you use it only when needed. That said, it won’t prevent pregnancy if you have unprotected sex again a few days after you’ve taken the pill. It’s important to remember that the pill is only effective for up to five days after you take it, so you should always have another form of birth control on hand if you think you might get pregnant in the future.

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Can I take Plan B before sex?

Whether your condom broke or your pull-and-pray went more pray than pull, sometimes you need a little extra help to avoid pregnancy. Emergency contraception (EC) like Plan B can significantly lower your chances of getting pregnant if you take it soon after unprotected sex.

Plan B works by releasing one of the hormones found in birth control pills, progestin. This thickens your cervical mucus and prevents sperm from joining with an egg in the uterus.

You can take Plan B as soon as 72 hours after unprotected sex to reduce your chances of getting pregnant by 75 to 89 percent. However, its effectiveness decreases the longer you wait to take it. Taking it sooner is always better.

The good news is that Plan B is super safe and easy to get over-the-counter. You don’t even need a prescription to buy it, and the FDA recommends that anyone who may become pregnant consider stocking up on Plan B One-Step.

Alternatively, women who are over age 35 should talk to their healthcare provider about long-term birth control options like IUDs. Paragard (a copper IUD) and Mirena or Liletta (hormonal IUDs) are over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy when inserted within five days of unprotected sex. They require an in-person appointment to be put in place, though, so don’t delay.

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Can I take Plan B after sex?

If you’ve had sex without barrier contraception or your birth control failed, Plan B can help prevent pregnancy. The morning-after pill works by temporarily delaying ovulation and increasing the thickness of the cervical lining, which makes it more difficult for sperm to meet and fertilize an egg. You can take the pill up to 72 hours after unprotected sex, but it’s more effective the sooner you take it.

You can purchase Plan B at most pharmacies without a prescription, and some sexual health advocacy groups sell it at affordable prices for people who don’t have insurance. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the medication only lasts for a few days and doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections like HIV/AIDS, genital herpes, chlamydia, or hepatitis.

Before taking the pill, you should review the label to make sure that it’s safe for you. Also, check the expiration date to make sure that it’s still valid. Some medications can interfere with the effectiveness of Plan B, including efavirenz (HIV medication), rifampin (a drug used to treat tuberculosis), and certain seizure medicines. Also, be aware that it’s not recommended to take the medication if you have a history of severe depression or bipolar disorder. If you experience a severe mood change while taking the medication, talk to your doctor right away.

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Can I take Plan B if I’m pregnant?

Whether your condom broke, you forgot to pull a pill, or something went way further than you expected, emergency contraception (ECPs) like Plan B can help protect you from pregnancy. But there’s a lot of misinformation out there about how and when to take this form of birth control, which can lead to confusion for people who need it most.

The answer to this question is complicated, and depends on a few factors. One important thing to remember is that Plan B works best when it’s taken within the first three days after unprotected sex. This is because the active ingredient in Plan B, levonorgestrel, works by delaying ovulation. If you have sex after Plan B, the pill may not prevent pregnancy because ovulation has already been delayed.

Another factor that can affect how well Plan B works is your weight. If you weigh more than 165 pounds, your body’s ability to absorb the levonorgestrel in Plan B can decrease. In this case, you’ll need to talk to your doctor about an alternative form of emergency contraception, such as ulipristal.

Finally, you should also be aware that spotting after taking Plan B is not always a sign that it’s worked. Depending on your body’s unique biology, you might not experience spotting at all, or the spotting might come and go. The only way to know if it prevented pregnancy is to wait for your next period or take a home pregnancy test.

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