Emergency Contraception or Plan B
What is the Morning after Pill (MAP)?
The Morning after Pill or Emergency Contraceptive Pill (ECP) is for emergencies only! This pill contains the same hormone found in many birth control pills, only in a much larger dosage. It is NOT the same thing as RU-486, the abortion pill.
Emergency contraception is a back-up plan that helps prevent pregnancy after birth control failure, unprotected sex, or sexual assault. It is not a substitute of routine birth control, and should not be used as one.
How does it work, and is the MAP effective?
The pill changes the hormone balance by preventing ovulation. MAP should be taken within 3 days (72 hours) of unprotected sex or birth control failure. If necessary it may be taken up to 5 days (120 hours) later. It reduces the chances of getting pregnant by up to 89% if used correctly; the sooner you take it the more effective it will be.
Are there any side effects from using MAP?
- abdominal pain
- menstrual changes
- breast tenderness
- vomiting and diarrhea
What should I know about Plan B?
- Plan B will not work if you’re already pregnant nor will it hurt the fetus
- does not contain any estrogen
- won’t protect against HIV or any other STI
- no age or gender restrictions if you are 17 or older
- if your weight is 165 pounds or more, some MAPs will not be effective