Debating your options after having unprotected sex? Make sure you know all the facts first before taking any medication.
While Plan B and the abortion pill may seem similar, they are very different medications with different purposes. The abortion pill terminates an early pregnancy up to 10 weeks along, while Plan B is a super-dose of birth control that is taken soon after unprotected sex. Keep reading for a few more things you need to know to prioritize your health and know what might be best for you.
What Is The Abortion Pill?
The abortion pill is also known as medical or medication abortion. It is actually a series of two medications – mifepristone and misoprostol.
The first drug, mifepristone, stops the body from producing the pregnancy hormone progesterone, causing the pregnancy to stop progressing and detach from the uterus.
The second dose, misoprostol, causes the uterus to cramp, expelling the pregnancy from the uterus.
As with any serious medical undertaking, the abortion pill comes with certain potential physical risks, including incomplete abortion, heavy or prolonged bleeding, infection, or fever.
Is the Abortion Pill an Option for Anyone?
The FDA only approves the use of the abortion pill for the termination of early pregnancies up to 10 weeks gestation. Taking the abortion pill past this point in pregnancy could be dangerous and result in severe medical complications.
Some women should also not take the abortion pill – such as women who have an IUD (intrauterine device), preexisting blood or heart disorders, or who take one of the over 200 medications that interact poorly with abortion pill drugs.
Ectopic pregnancies are also not resolved by abortion pill drugs and require emergency medical intervention.
How Do I Assess My Risk?
You may have a general idea of how far along you might be in pregnancy based on your last menstrual period, but the only way to know for sure is to confirm through an ultrasound exam with a medical professional.
Ultrasounds can answer a lot of questions about your unique needs, such as what your options are given how far along you are and if any medical complications are a concern for you.
What Is Plan B?
Plan B is one name brand of emergency contraception, sometimes known as the morning-after pill. Plan B contains the medication levonorgestrel.
Emergency contraception like Plan B prevents pregnancy by stopping ovulation (the release of an egg), preventing fertilization if an egg is released, or keeping an embryo from implanting in the uterus. It is designed to be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex – however, it is not always effective in preventing pregnancy.
It is also worth noting that Plan B should not be relied upon for sustained birth control and does not prevent STDs. Plan B also comes with associated potential risks, such as nausea, dizziness, or fatigue.
Can Anyone Take Plan B?
Medical authorities such as the Mayo Clinic caution consumers that the morning-after pill is not meant for all women. Plan B may be ineffective for women who have allergies to the medication included or who take certain medications that may counteract the drug. Consulting with a doctor before taking any medication is always a good rule of thumb to protect your health.
Learn More About Your Options Today
Navigating a pregnancy scare can be difficult, we get it. There are a lot of options to consider, and it can be hard to know what to do next.
The best next step you can take is to consult with a trusted medical professional to get key information about your unique needs and what options might be available to you. You may also find it reassuring to talk through your questions.
We provide free pregnancy medical services and a safe space to navigate your pregnancy decision. Schedule your free appointment today to put your mind at ease.