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Plan B is the popular term used when referring to women taking preparations of levonorgestrel after having a round of unprotected sexual intercourse. This is a very effective method at preventing an unwanted pregnancy. In one particular study, it was determined that 8 in 100 women who have unprotected sex are able to become pregnant on average compared to only 3 in 100 women who utilize Plan B. This may be higher than a rate that some women would hope for but the only true way to prevent pregnancies is to use for appropriate methods like oral contraceptives, condoms, and intrauterine devices. 

These treatments are helpful because they are able to significantly change the structure of the endometrium to prevent fertilization. This increased surge of estrogen will cause the endometrium to become uninhabitable by the fertilized egg and you will avoid becoming pregnant. These medications do come with a range of side effects that may make taking them quite uncomfortable for some female patients. 

In one study done trying to quantify the likelihood of side effects after taking Plan B medication, it was determined that:

  • nausea is seen in about 23 percent of cases,
  • abdominal pain in 18 percent of patients,
  • fatigue or a headache in 17 percent and
  • vomiting in 6 percent of patients.
  • In most cases, 58 percent to be exact, this will not interfere with a woman’s normal menstrual cycle and they should expect to have their periods around the same time as they typically would. 

When it comes to nausea and vomiting, there are medications on the market that patients can buy to help tolerate this dose of sex hormone.

If you find that you have vomited within the first hours of taking the drug, it is best to retake the medication because the estrogen would not have had time to absorb into the body.

That is why it is wise for you to note the time when you take the medication because this could make a big difference in whether a woman becomes or does not become pregnant.

In the event that you do become pregnant even after taking Plan B medications, there have been no links between this drug and the teratogenic effects on the fetus. This is just a fancy medical word for saying that the fetus should be able to develop properly without any additional risks. 

What a patient needs to be aware of is that taking Plan B is a dangerous habit to continually utilize.

You are changing the normal hormones in your body for a brief but significant amount of time so constant use can dramatically affect your menstrual cycle. Young girls that turn to this type of medication must be aware that this is also not a guaranteed “get out of jail” card and that it may not necessarily work so it is better for them to take adequate steps to prevent a pregnancy first. 

Some studies have shown that frequent Plan B use can also increase the likelihood of significant weight gain (roughly by 15 pounds), lead to depression, could lead to ovarian cysts and increase blood pressures in patients. These will not occur after one dosing cycle but if you become too dependent on these drugs, it is a much more likely event for you to have to deal with. [1]

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