Myth Busting: Plan B or "The Morning After Pill"
Plan B, or emergency contraception pills, are pills designed to stop a possible pregnancy soon after unprotected sex. If the condom broke, you forgot to take your birth control, or you just went too far with your partner without protection, taking Plan B may stop an unintended pregnancy.
There are lots of false myths about Plan B, shared as truths for various reasons. Let’s debunk some of those myths:
Myth 1: There is only one type of pill available and good luck getting it. FALSE.
There are actually two types of emergency contraception pills on the market, and they are available at the pharmacy over the counter. No ID is needed and anyone can buy the EC. The pill contains levonorgestrel, and is called the Plan B One-Step; the generic types are Next Choice One Dose, My Way, or Take Action. Ella, another emergency contraception pill, is a newer pill on the market, and does require a prescription.
Myth 2: The side effects are terrible. FALSE.
Most women have mild or no side effects at all from the Emergency contraceptive pill. Side effects can include: Nausea, cramping and changes with your next period. Many women are used to these symptoms because they experience these side-effects with their periods.
Myth 3: You have to take it within 24 hours for it to be effective. FALSE.
Taking the emergency contraceptive pill within the first 24 hours increases the effectiveness, but you have up to 4 days, with effectiveness decreasing as you wait to take it. You can search your area for where to obtain the pill, if you need it, or you can also order it online and keep it handy, just incase.
Myth 4: The emergency contraception pill is the abortion pill. FALSE.
Levonorgestrel, the hormone in the pill, cannot affect an already established pregnancy. So, if you waited over the 4 days, and the pregnancy has started, taking the emergency contraception pill will not abort the pregnancy. The emergency contraception pill delays ovulation, therefore the egg and sperm cannot create a baby. Sperm hangout inside woman’s fallopian tubes, waiting for an egg to show up (ovulation). If the egg does not show, the sperm die.
Myth 5: I took the emergency contraception pill last night, but I had unprotected sex again tonight, I’m still ok though. FALSE.
The emergency contraception pill is only protective against one act of unprotected sex. Remember, it is only effective for a few days, if you have unprotected sex again, there will be more sperm, hanging out in the fallopian tubes, waiting for an egg.
The emergency contraception pill is only effective 7 out of 8 pregnancies. If you’re considering going on birth control, there are many options. Take your time to talk to your doctor to find the right choice for you.