Morning After Pill & RU 486

The most common brand of morning-after pill sold in the United States is called Plan B®.  It is reported to work within 72 hours after sex and can lower your chance of pregnancy by up to 89%.i

There are things you should consider before you take this drug.  Although it is advertised as safe and effective, it is good to know all the facts before you take it.  Your body and your health are important. 

The Morning-After Pill (MAP) Plan B® is an extremely high dosage of chemical hormones.  It contains the same chemical hormones found in some types of birth control.

Plus, you may not even need it.  You can only get pregnant on certain days of the month – around the time that you ovulate.  Typically, there are only about three to five days a month in which a woman can get pregnant.  Unfortunately, most women looking for the morning-after pill are panicked because they think (or perceive) the clock is ticking, and as a result they don’t take the time to evaluate their situation.  If you weren’t fertile when you had sex because you were nowhere near ovulation, it is senseless to take the drug.  It will only subject you to the possible side effects of nausea and vomiting and put a bunch of unnecessary hormones in your body. 

Women who are considering Plan B® do not always know where they are in their cycle or if they are fertile, so they rush and spend money on a drug that they don’t need and that may harm their bodies.   

Women who have a known or suspected pregnancy should not take the pills, according to the manufacturers of Plan B®.  Have you taken a pregnancy test? 

Know the Risks Associated with the Morning-After Pill

Plan B® is a relatively new drug, and as a result there has not been much testing on its effect on the body.  Some of the commonly reported side effects are nausea, abdominal pain, tiredness, headache, menstrual changes, dizziness, breast tenderness, and vomiting.ii  After taking Plan B® it is not uncommon to have an irregular period.iii  This could mean heavier bleeding, lighter bleeding, or a delayed period.iv  It can take time before your body will go back to normal and stabilize itself.

Women who have diabetes should be monitored while taking Plan B, and women with pelvic inflammatory disease should not take Plan B, except under a physician’s careful monitoring.vi  Unfortunately, a lot of women don’t know if they have diabetesvii and/or don’t know if they have pelvic inflammatory disease.  

After taking Plan B® there is also an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy.viii  An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that is occurring anywhere outside of the uterus.  The most common type of ectopic pregnancy is sometimes referred to as a tubal pregnancy because it is one that is occurring in the woman’s fallopian tube.  If this goes unnoticed, a woman could be at serious risk.  Even a small delay in diagnosing an ectopic pregnancy can be fatal.ix

Plan B® does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) or other sexually transmitted diseases.x  It is generally recommended that any sexually active woman seek testing for sexually transmitted diseases.

Another major problem concerning Plan B® is the effect it could have if you are already pregnant.  A woman may have unprotected sex with her partner and rush to get the morning-after pill; however, when she takes Plan B® she may be pregnant from a previous time she had sex.  Women who have a known or suspected pregnancy should not take the pills, according to the manufacturers of Plan B®.xi  Have you taken a pregnancy test?  Our consultants are available 24/7 to talk to you about your concerns. 

Learn How the Morning After Pill Works

Many women don’t know how Plan B® works.  Plan B® works in one of three ways, and the difference depends upon where the woman is in her cycle.  If she has not yet ovulated, taking Plan B® can work as a contraceptive and suppress ovulation. 

If she has ovulated, it can prevent the sperm from coming into contact with the egg.

The last way in which Plan B® may work is a little more complicated.  Conception or fertilization is the term used when the sperm joins the egg.  When this happens, human life has begun.  The embryo moves through the fallopian tube and implants in the uterus about a week later.  If Plan B® is taken after an egg has been fertilized it may not allow the embryo to implant in the uterus.xii  This would be a very early abortion. 

To access source documentation click here.

RU486/Abortion Pill

Before taking RU486, or Abortion Pill, you should understand what it is, what it could mean to your health and how it works. Call for an appointment and one of our staff will be happy to discuss it with you, confirm if you're pregnant and advise you on your options.

What is it?
RU-486, also known as “the abortion pill,” is actually a combination of two drugs -- mifepristone and misoprostol -- that cause early abortion. It should not be used if it has been more than 7 weeks since your last period. It is NOT the same as the “morning after pill.”

How does it work?
The first pill, mifepristone, is taken orally and blocks the hormone progesterone needed to maintain the pregnancy. The second pill, misoprostol, is taken 24 to 72 hours later, causing the uterus to contract and expel the placenta and embryo.

Things to Consider
An RU-486 abortion requires 3 visits to a health care provider.

  • Most medical abortions using mifepristone are completed within 2 weeks, but some can take up to 3 or even 4 weeks.
  • Side effects include heavy bleeding, headache, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and cramping.
  • If this method fails, a surgical abortion will be required.

Sources:Kaiser Family Foundation, “Issue Update: Mifepristone: An Early Abortion Option,” July 2001.Mifeprex® Medication Guide, Danco Laboratories, LLC, revised 7/19/05