There are a lot of reasons a woman may fear a possible unplanned pregnancy. Maybe she had unplanned sex, or she was sexually assaulted. Maybe she and her partner got caught up in the moment and didn’t use protection—or their protection failed—and she feels like being pregnant right now would be bad timing. She may feel scared of what a baby would mean for her future.
Plan B is available and easily accessible. It seems like a simple solution to putting her mind at ease in the days following her sexual encounter.
How Does Plan B Work?
Plan B doesn’t disrupt an already implanted pregnancy, but it may prevent an early pregnancy from implanting in the uterus in one of three ways:
It prevents the egg and sperm from meeting by delaying or preventing ovulation.
It thickens the cervical mucus, which reduces the chances of the sperm reaching and fertilizing the egg.
It changes the lining of the uterus, reducing the probability of implantation by creating an environment that would not sustain life.
When it comes to Plan B, there is a great deal of conflicting and confusing information available. Before you decide if Plan B is right for you, here are 8 things you should consider.
8 Ways Plan B Fails Women
1: Making a Rushed Decision
For Plan B to be most effective, you must take it as soon as possible. You have less than 72 hours after having unprotected sex to make a decision. After 72 hours, the effectiveness of the drug decreases. Having to act quickly puts fear in charge of your choice. Every decision you make is either led by fear or a desire to grow. A fear-based decision often turns into regret.
2: High Doses of Hormones
Plan B contains a 12-15 times higher amount of hormones than the average birth control pill. One of the concerns is the high level of Levonorgestrel (progesterone) which is known to cause both short-term and long-term side effects. A woman’s body naturally produces progesterone, but when pushed artificially in high doses, this hormone has been linked to increased risks of the following:
Blood clotting problems
3: Risk of Ectopic Pregnancy
There is evidence that Plan B may increase a woman's risk for an ectopic pregnancy, which can be a life-threatening emergency. If the ectopic pregnancy isn’t caught in time, there can be long term damage to the fallopian tube or other potentially life-threatening issues.
4: STI/STD Vulnerability
Many women overlook a great risk that Plan B cannot address. Plan B does not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases or infections (STD/STIs). Unprotected sex can have life-altering effects that go beyond an unplanned pregnancy.
5: Not A Primary Birth Control
The morning-after pill is intended for backup contraception only, not as a primary method of birth control. There’s a misconception that taking Plan B after sex can prevent pregnancy over a period of time.
The truth is, sperm can stay alive in your body for up to five days. Taking the morning-after pill doesn’t mean you can have sex multiple times and still be “covered.” There are many mitigating factors that come into play, like the timing of your cycle and when you had sex along with when you took Plan B. If you’ve already ovulated and you have sex, Plan B won’t necessarily keep you from getting pregnant.
6: Not Safe During Pregnancy
Some women don’t realize they are already pregnant when they take Plan B. If you’re late starting your period, you should take a pregnancy test. If you were already pregnant and took Plan B, let your doctor know. Plan B is not safe to take while pregnant.
Something imperative to understand is that Plan B does NOT end a pregnancy that has implanted. If you’re already pregnant, you should NOT take Plan B.
7: Adverse Side-Effects
There are known side effects of taking Plan B. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if you do experience them you may need medical attention. Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking levonorgestrel:
Absent, missed, or irregular menstrual periods
pain in the pelvis
menstrual bleeding ceases
Some side effects of Plan B may not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. These side effects include:
Abdominal or stomach pain
tenderness of the breasts
unusual tiredness or weakness
8: Disrupts Life
The medical industry would like women to believe that Plan B is just another form of the birth control pill, but it’s not. Since it is taken after intercourse, it actually disrupts life rather than prevents it.
Medically and scientifically, human life begins at conception. Conception can happen as early as a few minutes after sex. If an egg is fertilized (the definition of conception) and you take Plan B, the pill may work to prevent the fertilized egg from implanting in your uterine wall.
Although it is widely debated as to when that life should be valued and protected, Plan B ends potentially viable pregnancies. This is something that women should consider before taking Plan B.
What To Do After Unprotected Sex
Schedule an appointment at A Woman’s Place Medical Clinic and talk with us about your fears and your options. Knowledge is empowering and we can calm many of the thoughts that scare you about a possible unplanned pregnancy.
A Woman’s Place Medical Clinic is a safe place where you can confidentially discuss sexual health, pregnancy, women’s health, STI’s, and relationship issues with one of our client advocates. We are a pro-woman, non-profit, holistic health clinic. We strive to offer clarity in your pregnancy decision while caring for your body, mind and spirit. Feel free to contact us today to take advantage of our free services. We are here for you and ready to listen!
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