PLAN B MORNING AFTER PILL: EFFICACY AND CONSIDERATION
Posted on: May 23, 2022
Having unprotected sex is worrisome especially if you aren’t trying to conceive - we understand, it happens to the best of us.
That leads you to right now, where you may be looking into if you should be getting the Plan B morning after pill to prevent a potential pregnancy. So, before you go and head out to your nearest pharmacy, here’s what you need to know about the morning after pill.
1. How does morning after pill work?
The morning after pill basically stops the ovaries from releasing an egg, which means the sperm will have nothing to fertilise. You can only get pregnant when a mature egg, which is released once a month, gets fertilised by the sperm.
Plan B morning after pill is known as emergency contraception and contains levonorgestrel, which prevents or delays ovulation (when the egg is released) 1 .
2. Will the morning after pill end a pregnancy?
No. It is merely a prevention method, and it does not end a pregnancy that has already implanted within your uterus - it is not an abortion drug 2 .
3. What are the side effects of the morning after pill?
There are no long-term risks of the day after pill, but the short-term effects include nausea, vomiting, and spotting in between periods 3 . Additionally, it can also cause breast tenderness, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue 4 .
4. When should you take the morning after pill?
Taking the morning after pill within 72 hours (three days) of unprotected sex is recommended as this reduces your chance of pregnancy by 75 to 89 percent 5 - the sooner, the better. However, if you have missed the window, Plan B manufacturers state that you can take it up to five days after unprotected sex 6 .
Do take note that if you are a breastfeeding mother, make sure to breastfeed your baby before you take the morning after pill and avoid breastfeeding at least eight hours after taking the pill 7 . This is because levonorgestrel can be excreted into breast milk.
5. How effective is the morning after pill at preventing pregnancy?
The morning after pill is not birth control and should only be used as emergency contraception – in fact, it is considered as the less reliable form of contraception compared to other methods 8 .
Moreover, it has been revealed that morning after pills that contain levonorgestrel like Plan B, are not effective for those who weigh 155 pounds, or 70 kilograms and over 9 .
However, certain medications can also affect the efficacy of the morning after pill, which include 10 :
- Rifampin (antibiotic)
- Griseofulvin (antifungal)
- Certain HIV medications
- Certain anti-seizure medication
- St. John’s Wort (herb)
Additionally, please seek advice from a pharmacist or doctor to understand if the medication you are taking will affect the effectiveness of the morning after pill 11 .
6. What to do after you take a Plan B morning after pill?
The pill may also delay your period up to one week but if you do not get your period within three or four weeks, you should take a pregnancy test 12 .
If you experience bad cramps in your lower abdomen three to five weeks after taking the morning after pill, please contact your doctor as this could be indication of a miscarriage or that the egg has implanted outside of your uterus 13 .
7. What’s the price of the morning after pill price in Malaysia?
The morning after pill in Malaysia is controlled by law, which means you can only get it over the counter at a pharmacy or from a registered medical practitioner 14 . It is usually supplied with two tablets per strip. The morning after pill Malaysia price can range from RM5 to RM20 15 .
Remember, it is okay to take the morning after pill to prevent any potential unwanted pregnancy, so don’t be afraid to get it for yourself. It is also okay to take when you really need to, but we do advise taking contraceptives to prevent a pregnancy long-term, especially if you are sexually active.
Ask Your Gynecologist
If you have any medical concerns, please consult a pharmacist or a doctor before you go ahead with the morning after pill. With that, we hope this article has helped you, and stay safe!