What is an Emergency Contraception—and more specifically, the morning-after pill?

There are two kinds of emergency contraception — the morning-after pill and Paragard®  insertion. In this blog we will talk about the morning-after pill.

  • The morning-after pill or Plan B® is a drug intended to be taken as soon as possible within the first 72 hours after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. It contains a high dose of a progesterone (levonorgestrel), which is found in many kinds of birth control pills. At the dosage found in the morning-after pill, this drug may irritate the lining of your uterus, causing the embryo inside you from implanting, ending its life. If this happens, an abortion will occur, because each human life begins as an embryo. The morning-after pill is often referred to by the brand name that started it all—Plan B®. In 2009, Plan B® was reformulated and renamed Plan B One-Step®. It is now taken as a single-dose tablet. A two-dose generic form is also available.  The morning-after pill costs around $30 to $65, and some emergency contraceptions depend on your body mass index (BMI), in order to determine how effective they may be. The morning-after pill does not protect against HIV or STDs.

Think carefully before you use the morning-after pill, and make sure you understand the side effects and risks. Piedmont Women’s Center offers support as you consider whether emergency contraceptives may be for you. Please give us a call at 864-244-1434 . It is safe, confidential, and our all-women team is supportive for whatever need you are facing.

Source: © 2009, 2012 Focus on the Family “The Morning-After Pill” pamphlet

Footnote 1: FDA Prescribing and Label Information for Plan B One-Step®, Rev. July 2009; pp. 13-14; www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2009/021998lbl.pdf

Footnote 2: Keith L. Moore and T.V.N. Persaud. The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 6th Edition (Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 1998), pp.2-3

Footnote 3: “Watson Pharmaceuticals Receives FDA Approval for Generic Plan B® for Over-the-Counter Use”; August 28, 2009: http://ir.watson.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=65778&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1325502