Plan B is a contraception designed to be used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse has taken place.
It is sometimes called “the morning after pill” or emergency contraception. The medication in Plan B is designed to be taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex has taken place.
It is important not to confuse Plan B with the “abortion pill,” as Plan B will not end a pregnancy that has already begun.
If you have already conceived but do not know you are pregnant before you take Plan B, there is no indication that it will harm a developing baby.
Plan B is currently available in the United States without a prescription for women ages 18 and over.
Debate is currently underway to determine whether or not teens that are 17 and over should be able to purchase the medication without prescription. Studies have determined the medication in Plan B is safe for any woman so long as she is not allergic to any of its ingredients.
Discussions of Plan B should be included in any sex education program, or talk with mom and dad, that include information about contraception so that teens have accurate information. Plan B is not designed to be used as regular birth control, and does not work effectively when used in that manner.
It is not designed to be used before unprotected sex and is not effective in those circumstances.
If other birth control methods fail, such as when a condom breaks, or a woman forgets a regular birth control pill, Plan B can help prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Teens should also know that Plan B will not prevent sexually transmitted diseases.