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Most women at some point in their lives will have unprotected sex or an incident of failure with their birth control method. Taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex the Plan B pill is highly effective at preventing pregnancy. Many people are confused about the Plan B pill and its purpose. In this article I will separate the facts from the myths and educate you about this widely misrepresented form of birth control.
1. The Plan B pill is used only to prevent pregnancy. It will not terminate one. It is often mistaken for the abortion pill but it has no effect on pregnant women or their unborn baby.
2. The pill is made of a high concentration of the hormone levonorgestrel. It is the same hormone found in many birth control pills.
3. Plan B cannot be used as regular birth control. It is only effective in preventing unintended pregnancy within the first 72 hours of unprotected sex. An average of 1 in every 8 women who use Plan B correctly will become pregnant. Regular birth control pills and other forms of birth control are better at preventing pregnancy long term.
4. The side effects of using Plan B to prevent pregnancy are similar to those in early pregnancy or during your menstrual cycle. If you miss your period, it is recommended that you take a pregnancy test. Side effects include changes in your period, breast tenderness, headache, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, and lower abdominal pain. Severe abdominal pain may signal an ectopic pregnancy and needs to be treated immediately.
5. Though it is not to be used as regular birth control there is no limit to how many times you may use it.
6. Plan B does not protect against any sexually transmitted diseases or HIV.
7. Plan B does not require a prescription! Anyone can get it from over the counter at the pharmacy if you are over the age of 17. It does not require a parents permission to purchase.
8. You should resume your regular method of contraception or begin a new one, if you don't already have a regular method, immediately after using Plan B. It does not remain effective past the day it is used. You do not need to use additional back up protection to your birth control pills after using Plan B. You just resume taking them.
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