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The morning-after pill is also called “Plan B”. It is intended to be a birth control pill that prevents pregnancy after unprotected sex has already taken place. Because women are supposed to take it the day after, this has given it the nick-name “morning-after pill”. This is not the same as RU-486. That is a combination of pills that cause an abortion.
The pill contains a high dose of levonorgestrel which is found in many kinds of birth control pills.
Plan B has had varied results and is not 100% successful in preventing pregnancy. It can prevent ovulation, similar to birth control pills, or it can prevent egg fertilization. The pill can also prevent a fertilized egg from continuing to develop by affecting the lining of the uterus.
Some women experience side effects from the morning-after pill. They may include nausea and vomiting, cramping, headache, dizziness or just a general tired feeling.
Plan B is similar to a birth control option, but it should not be taken as regular birth control. The longer it has been since you had unprotected sex, the less effective it will be. It is most effective when taken within 24 hours, or up to 72 hours.
It is important to remember that no pill can prevent sexually transmitted diseases and that having unprotected sex could always put you at risk for pregnancy and STDs. If you have questions about birth control or STDs, we hope you will visit your doctor.
The HOPE Center offers free STD testing and pregnancy testing to women as a public service to the community. To talk to a staff member or to make an appointment, call 770-924-0864.