How-effective-is-Plan-B-and-how-late-can-you-take-the-plan blog image

Birth control involves using devices and / or methods to avoid unplanned pregnancies. Though such control has been in use for several centuries, safer approaches emerged only over the last few decades. Several hormone-based meds are available as part of birth control procedures. Some are offered as an emergency measure i.e., when a condom breaks, etc. Among such control measures, Plan B is a widely used approach. But, how effective is Plan B? Also, how late can you take it? It becomes a critical thing to have needful details.

The generic name of Plan B is levonorgestrel. It is a commonly administered birth control measure. It is available under a brand name called Plan B. Foremost of all things – you need to know Plan B is not used as a contraceptive. In other words, it cannot be taken regularly to avoid an unintended / unplanned pregnancy. So, those who plan to avoid pregnancy must speak to a qualified medical practitioner on available options. This drug may not be effective when you have hypersensitivity or allergies to levonorgestrel and its key ingredients.

How effective is Plan B in avoiding unplanned pregnancies?

The main substance – i.e., levonorgestrel – has needful clearance from the US-based drug clearing agency food and drug administration (FDA); in most cases, it is procured through the over the counter (OTC) route. Such wider availability helps manage emergency needs with relative ease. Plan B is capable of stopping your ovaries from discharging eggs. The key chemicals also control fertile eggs to get inside your uterine channel.

So, as your ovaries are inhibited from releasing eggs, sperm cells are bereft of work. This action helps avoid an unplanned pregnancy. During instances wherein an ovum (egg) is fertilised, this med halts its gaining access into your uterus. Thus, risks of unplanned pregnancies are avoided in an effective manner.

Plan B is effective in suppressing the odds of pregnancy from 62 to 93%. In some women – about 0.75% to 2.5% – pregnancy has occurred even after taking this med. Also, it is a key thing to know that plan never aborts your fetus, especially if it has started growing. Efficacy of this drug also depends on your reproductive or menstrual cycle. This med acts best if it is consumed before you ovulate. Once your ovaries get an egg out, there is an upsurge in hormones. This condition may make drugs like Plan B ineffective.

How late can you take Plan B?

Plan B is also called the morning after pill. Its key chemicals remain effective for upto 72 hours from the time of an unprotected sexual intercourse. This means you can use Plan B upto 3 days from the time of an (unprotected) sexual act. Beware of possible reduction in efficacy as time lapses. For instance, odds of getting pregnant are high when you take this med 4 days after having unprotected sexual intercourse.

It is a wise thing to know of drugs that can lower this drug’s efficacy. Such meds include anticonvulsants or muscle relaxing drugs like barbiturates, phenytoin, etc. Moreover, those who are taking drugs like bosentan or rifampin need to tell their caregiver of your medication plan.

Pointers users need to know while using Plan B

Some women may report a few adverse effects; these are pain in lower abdomen, vomiting, nausea and dyspepsia. Those who drink alcohol may notice weakness, overall tiredness and dizziness / drowsiness. Some users of Plan B may notice changes in their menstrual cycles coupled with severe pain and discomforts of the stomach.

Last but not least, it is regarded a safe thing to compile a list of drugs you are currently taking. As you make such a listing, care to include all prescription meds, OTC drugs, vitamin supplements, mineral or protein enriched foods, herbal drugs, if any. It is highly recommended to share this list with your treating physician to avoid possible complications.


Information provided here are only of supplementary nature. Information shared here does not substitute a qualified doctor’s advice. This website is not suggesting intake of this drug as safe or appropriate. Hence it is advised to talk to your doctor before consuming this med or any other drug.

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