Plan B: “Just the Facts, Ma’am” (Not to be confused with RU 486)

Plan B

There’s lots of talk these days about Plan B emergency contraceptive. I hear opinions and speculations, but what do the experts say?

The website for Plan B (sometimes called the “morning after pill”) states that Plan B:

  •  Helps prevent pregnancy before it starts
  •  No ID or Rx required to purchase
  •  Won’t hurt your chances of getting pregnant in the future

“Similar to birth control pills, Plan B works by temporarily delaying the release of an egg from the ovary, * so there’s no egg to meet sperm. No egg, no fertilization, no pregnancy.” ** “Plan B shouldn’t be used as a regular form of birth control, as it only stays in your body for a short time…”

“Possible side effects include:

  •  A period that’s lighter, early. Or late
  •  Nausea
  •  Lower abdominal cramps
  •  Tiredness
  •  Headache
  •  Dizziness
  •  Breast tenderness
  •  Vomiting”

* The FDA states three possible ways that Plan B works. “Plan B works like other birth control pills to prevent pregnancy.

Plan B acts primarily by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation). It may prevent the union of sperm and egg (fertilization). If fertilization does occur, Plan B may prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb (implantation). If a fertilized egg is implanted prior to taking Plan B, Plan B will not work.”

** There are differing opinions in the medical community as to when pregnancy begins. Some saying that pregnancy is from the time a fertilized egg implants and delivery. Others saying that pregnancy begins when the egg is fertilized.

So, what exactly is Plan B and how does it work? According to WebMD, “It is a progestin hormone that works mainly by preventing the release of an egg (ovulation) during your menstrual cycle. It also makes vaginal fluid thicker to help prevent sperm from reaching the egg (fertilization) and changes the lining of the uterus (womb) to prevent attachment of a fertilized egg.”

For more information or to talk to someone about Plan B, text or call 615-680-8026