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What is Emergency Contraception, also known as Plan B? 
Plan B is a hormone called Levonorgestrel which is also used in birth control pills. 
 
Plan B is often called “the morning after pill”, but in reality, it can be taken any time AFTER unprotected sex and the sooner you take it the more effective it is.  If Plan B is taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex, it can decrease the risk of pregnancy by 89 %.  If taken in the first 24 hours, it is about 95 % effective.  Therefore, the sooner you take it after unprotected sex, condom failure or sex after missing your birth control pill, the better the chance of it working to prevent pregnancy. 


Plan B is not the same as RU – 486, which is the Abortion Pill, so it does not cause a miscarriage or an abortion.  If the fertilized egg has already implanted in the uterus, you are already pregnant, and Plan B will not work at this point.  


Plan B works by preventing or delaying ovulation.  If you have already ovulated it may interfere with the fertilization of the egg while still in the tube, or by affecting the lining of the uterus so the fertilized egg cannot implant in the uterine wall. 


Plan B is not as effective as regular birth control pills and is not meant to replace it.  It is only to be used as a back-up method and is not to be used as your main form of birth control. 


Plan B can be purchased over the counter, and no prescription is necessary.  Plan B is known by many different names – Econtra EZ, My Way, Next Choice One Dose, Plan B One Step, Preventeza, and Take Action.  It is one dose of a single pill. 

SIDE EFFECTS –   Some patients experience vomiting after taking Plan B. If you vomit within 2 hours after taking the pill, call a healthcare provider to see if you need to repeat the dose.  
Plan B can cause abnormal bleeding and your next period may be lighter or heavier than normal.  If you don’t have a period in the following 3 weeks, take a pregnancy test to make sure you are not pregnant. 

PLEASE NOTE – Plan B does NOT prevent sexually transmitted diseases. 

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