Plan B – Morning After Pill – More Facts

What is the morning after pill?

  • Plan B One Step, Plan B and Next Step are all safe methods of emergency contraception and are FDA approved
  • The morning after pill works because it contains high levels of levonorgestrel, which is the same ingredient found in many types of the birth control pill. However, the larger dosage or levonorgestrel is more than what is found in a single birth control pill.
  • The morning after pill also does not contain estrogen, unlike birth control, only progestin.
  • The sooner you take the morning after pill, the better. The pill works for up to three days (72 hours) after cases of failed contraception or unprotected sex. However, the effectiveness of the pill decreases each day.
  • About seven out of eight women or teens who take the pill will not become pregnant.
  • The morning after pill is not intended for routine use as a contraceptive and should be used in emergency situations only as it is not as effective as taking regular birth control.
  • Despite many misconceptions, Plan B or any other forms of emergency contraception is not the abortion pill RU-486. The morning after pill does not end any existing pregnancy.
Who should take Plan B?
You may want to use emergency contraception if:
  • The condom broke or slipped off, and he ejaculated in your vagina
  • You forgot to take or apply your regular method of birth control (ie. the pill, patch or ring).
  • You miscalculated the “safe days” during your monthly cycle
  • He did not pull out in time
  • No birth control was used at all
  • You were made or forced to have unprotected vaginal sex
Who can buy it?
  • Anyone 17 and over can buy Plan B or Next Choice over the counter without permission.
  • Anyone under 17, must have a doctor’s prescription.
Where can you buy the morning after pill?
  • The cost of the pill can range from $10 to $70 depending on where you buy it or if you have a coupon.
  • Most drug stores and pharmacies carry Plan B or Next Choice including Walgreens, CVS and local pharmacies.
Another type of morning after pill:
  • Another emergency contraceptive, ella is a new pill on the birth control market.
  • Unlike Plan B or Next Choice, ella can work up to five days after having unprotected sex or in cases of failed contraception. It is more effective than Plan B or Next Choice.
  • However, ella cannot be obtained over the counter and can only be purchased with a doctor’s prescription.
With various types of emergency contraception or different forms of the morning after pill, it is important to discuss any questions you have about how and when to take the pill with your doctor or the pharmacists. It is important for teens to remember that the sooner you take the pill after an unprotected sexual situation, the better. The sooner you take it, the more effective the pill will be.