Summary: There is a common misconception that Plan B can cause ectopic pregnancy. However, studies have shown that this emergency contraceptive pill does not increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy.
1. What is Plan B?
Plan B is an emergency contraceptive pill that contains levonorgestrel, a synthetic hormone that is used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or contraception failure. The pill works by preventing ovulation, fertilization, or implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterus.
The medication is approved by the FDA and is available over-the-counter without a prescription for women aged 17 or older.
It is important to note that Plan B is not an abortion pill and cannot terminate an existing pregnancy.
2. What is an ectopic pregnancy?
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. This type of pregnancy is dangerous and can lead to severe complications such as rupture of the fallopian tube, internal bleeding, and infertility.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, ectopic pregnancy affects about 2% of pregnancies in the United States.
Common symptoms of ectopic pregnancy include abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, dizziness, and shoulder pain. If you suspect that you have an ectopic pregnancy, seek medical attention immediately.
3. Can Plan B cause ectopic pregnancy?
Many people believe that Plan B can cause ectopic pregnancy because they confuse it with another medication called RU-486, which is used to terminate early pregnancies.
However, studies have shown that there is no evidence to suggest that taking Plan B increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy.
In fact, emergency contraception can help reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy, which is a known risk factor for ectopic pregnancy.
4. What are the side effects of Plan B?
Like all medications, Plan B can cause side effects, although they are usually mild and short-lived. Common side effects include:
- Abdominal pain
- Breast tenderness
- Irregular menstrual bleeding
If you experience severe or persistent side effects, seek medical attention.
5. How effective is Plan B?
Plan B is most effective when taken within 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex, but it can still be effective up to 120 hours (5 days) after sex.
The effectiveness of Plan B depends on how soon you take it after sex and where you are in your menstrual cycle. According to Planned Parenthood, Plan B is about 89% effective in preventing pregnancy when taken within 72 hours.
It is important to remember that emergency contraception is not 100% effective and should not be used as a regular method of birth control.
In conclusion, there is no evidence to suggest that Plan B causes ectopic pregnancy. The medication is a safe and effective form of emergency contraception that can help prevent unintended pregnancy. However, if you suspect that you have an ectopic pregnancy, seek medical attention immediately.
Remember to always use a reliable form of contraception to reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy and its associated complications.