Morning After Pill
The most common form of emergency contraception is known as Plan B, or the Morning After Pill. It is a high dose of progesterone (a hormone found in most birth control medication). It is most effective when taken within 72 hours of having unprotected sex. It is believed to act as an emergency contraceptive principally by preventing ovulation or fertilization by interfering with the sperm's ability to reach the egg. Also it may inhibit implantation of a fertilized egg, in which case it may cause an abortion.
Plan B is not effective in protecting against HIV or other STD's. Plan B is not effective in terminating an existing pregnancy. Before taking Plan B, you might want to learn whether or not you may be pregnant from a previous encounter. We invite you to come in and take a free pregnancy test in order to determine if you are already pregnant.
There is evidence that Plan B use may increase the risk for ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, a potentially life-threatening condition in which the embryo implants somewhere outside of the uterus - most usually in the fallopian tubes. Women who have severe abdominal pain may have an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, and should get immediate medical help. At our Center, you may qualify for a free, limited, obstetrical ultrasound to help determine the presence of a fetus in the uterus where it should be.
The most common side effects include: heavier menstrual bleeding, nausea, lower abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, and dizziness. Plan B may alter the timing of your next period. If your next period is more than a week late, you should suspect pregnancy from a previous encounter.
There have been no long term studies done on the safety of Plan B use in women under age 17. It is unsure what the long term effects could be on future fertility. According to its manufacturers, Plan B One-Step is not intended for routine use as a contraceptive.