1. What is emergency contraception?
Emergency contraception is a method of preventing pregnancy to be used after a contraceptive fails or after unprotected sex. It is not for routine use. Drugs used for this purpose are called emergency contraceptive pills, post-coital pills, or morning after pills. Emergency contraceptives contain the hormones estrogen and progestin (levonorgestrel), either separately or in combination. FDA has approved two products for prescription use for emergency contraception – Preven (approved in 1998) and Plan B (approved in 1999).
2. What is Plan B?
Plan B is emergency contraception, a backup method to birth control. It is in the form of two levonorgestrel pills (0.75 mg in each pill) that are taken by mouth after unprotected sex. Levonorgestrel is a synthetic hormone used in birth control pills for over 35 years. Plan B can reduce a woman’s risk of pregnancy when taken as directed if she has had unprotected sex. Plan B contains only progestin, levonorgestrel, a synthetic hormone used in birth control pills for over 35 years. It is currently available only by prescription
3. How does Plan B work?
Plan B works like other birth control pills to prevent pregnancy. Plan B acts primarily by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation). It may prevent the union of sperm and egg (fertilization). If fertilization does occur, Plan B may prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb (implantation). If a fertilized egg is implanted prior to taking Plan B, Plan B will not work.