Important Information About Plan B One-Step®
What is Plan B One-Step®?
Plan B One-Step® is emergency contraception that helps prevent pregnancy after birth control failure or unprotected sex. It is a backup method of preventing pregnancy and should not be used as regular birth control. Use as directed.
Do I need a prescription for Plan B One-Step®?
No, Plan B One-Step® is available over the counter, so you don't need a prescription at all. You should be able to find Plan B One-Step® in the aisle at a store near you. Just take it off the shelf and pay for it at the cashier. No prescription or ID required.
How does Plan B One-Step® work?
Plan B One-Step® is one tablet with levonorgestrel, a hormone that has been used in many birth control pills for several decades. Plan B One-Step® contains a higher dose of levonorgestrel than birth control pills, but works in a similar way to prevent pregnancy. It works mainly by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary. It is possible that Plan B One-Step® may also work by preventing fertilization of an egg (the uniting of sperm with the egg) or by preventing attachment (implantation) to the uterus (womb).
Who is Plan B One-Step® for?
Plan B One-Step® is intended for someone who has had unprotected sex or birth control
failure within the last 72 hours (3 days) and wants to prevent pregnancy from happening. If you have any questions about whether you should
Taking Plan B One-Step®
When is it appropriate for me to take Plan B One-Step®?
The sooner you take emergency contraception, the better it works. You should use Plan B One-Step® within 72 hours (3 days) after you have had unprotected sex or experienced birth control failure. Plan B One-Step® is a backup method of birth control you can use when:
- Your regular birth control was used incorrectly or failedYou did not use any birth control method
When is it not appropriate to take Plan B One-Step®?
Plan B One-Step® should not be used:
- As a regular birth control method, because it's not as effective as regular birth control
- If you are already pregnant, because it will not work
- If you are allergic to levonorgestrel or any other ingredients in Plan B One-Step®
When should I take Plan B One-Step®?
You only have a few days to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or birth control failure. Plan B One-Step® works better the sooner you take it. It's only one pill, so you can get what you need right away—taken within 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex or birth control failure.
How long after taking Plan B One-Step® can I resume my regular birth control pill?
You should resume your regular method of contraception—or start one, if you don't have a regular method—right away, since Plan B One-Step® does not protect against additional acts of unprotected sex.
Efficacy of Plan B One-Step®
How effective is Plan B One-Step®?
If Plan B One-Step® is taken as directed, it can significantly decrease the chance that you will get pregnant. About 7 out of every 8 women who would have gotten pregnant will not become pregnant.
How will I know if Plan B One-Step® worked?
You will know Plan B One-Step® has been effective when you get your next period, which should come at the expected time, or within a week of the expected time. If your period is delayed beyond 1 week, it is possible you may be pregnant. You should get a pregnancy test and follow up with your healthcare professional.
When to Take Plan B One-Step®
What happens if I'm already pregnant and I take Plan B One-Step®?
There is no medical evidence that Plan B One-Step® would harm a developing baby. If you're already pregnant and take Plan B One-Step®, or it doesn't work and you become pregnant, it's not likely to cause any harm to you or your pregnancy. If you have any concerns, please be sure to talk to your healthcare professional.
Can I take Plan B One-Step® as my regular birth control method?
Plan B One-Step® should not be taken as regular birth control. Plan B One-Step® is not as effective as using a regular birth control method correctly and consistently. It is a backup method to be taken if your regular birth control fails, or if you have sex without birth control. If you have unprotected sex after taking Plan B One-Step®, it cannot prevent you from getting pregnant.
How often can I take Plan B One-Step®?
Plan B One-Step® should only be taken in emergencies (when your primary birth control method failed or you forgot to use birth control), but there is no medical reason why you can't take it more than once. Don't be afraid to take
Plan B One-Step® when you need to, but remember that it should never replace routine methods of contraception, as it simply isn't as effective.
Plan B One-Step® doesn't provide long-term protection against future pregnancy—it works to prevent this one incident only. If you are sexually active, even occasionally, see your healthcare professional or visit a clinic to find a method of birth control and STD prevention that suits you.
Side Effects Of Plan B One-Step®
Will I experience any side effects with Plan B One-Step®?
- Some women may have changes in their period, such as a period that is heavier or lighter or a period that is early or late. If your period is more than a week late, you may be pregnant
- If you have severe adominal pain, you may have an ectopic pregnancy, and should get immediate medical attention
- When used as directed, Plan B One-Step® is safe and effective. Side effects may include menstrual changes, nausea, lower stomach (abdominal) pain, tiredness, headache, dizziness, breast pain, and vomiting
- If you vomit within 2 hours of taking the medication, call a healthcare professional to find out if you should repeat the dose
Where can I find Plan B One-Step®?
Plan B One-Step® has moved from behind the pharmacy counter into the aisle. So you can just take it off the shelf and pay for it at the cashier. No prescription or ID required.
To find a store near you that may carry Plan B One-Step®, use our
What should I do if I have questions about Plan B One-Step®?
If you have questions or need more information about this product, call our toll-free number,
1-800-330-1271, visit this website, or ask a healthcare professional.
How can I talk to my partner about taking Plan B One-Step®?
If you're not sure how to bring up the topic of taking Plan B One-Step® and emergency contraception, the following tips may help to make "the talk" as relaxed and productive as possible:
- Do your research first. You'll be better prepared to answer any questions he may have about Plan B One-Step®
- Think about what to say. Make a list of what you want to discuss, and try practicing your talk out loud. Think about potential responses to any concerns your partner may have. Remember, the more honest, calm, and clear you are, the more likely he will respond to you the same way
- Find the right time and place. Make sure you'll have enough privacy, without being interrupted or feeling rushed
- Be respectful. Ask your partner what he's thinking and feeling. Be open to his suggestions and opinions
- Discuss future contraception. Safe sex is a must, even if you're in a monogamous relationship. Being safe is all about being honest with each other, including having an open discussion about contraceptives. It will also help you avoid emergencies in the future
What are some other resources I can turn to for further information about Plan B One-Step® and emergency contraception?
Check out the websites below to stay informed on what's happening in women's healthcare, and to learn more about birth control options and emergency contraception.
Although the information below may be useful, it shouldn't replace the advice of your healthcare professional. For questions about birth control pills and other women's health issues, please talk to your healthcare professional.
Emergency Contraception Website (Princeton)
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
International Consortium for Emergency Contraception
National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association
Reproductive Health Technologies Project
The Countdown ClockPlan B One-Step® should be taken
as soonas possible within 72 hours (3 days).
When did you have unprotected sex or birth control failure?
Image depicted is a model,
not an actual consumer.