Your period is late, and you are wondering if you are pregnant. If you are sexually active, then yes, you could possibly be pregnant. Maybe you have heard about a pill that will make it “all go away.” Unfortunately, you do not know where to get it and which pill to take. Plan B? The Abortion Pill? Is there a difference? Here are some facts about both.
If you have heard about the “morning-after pill” or the “day-after pill,” this is referring to Plan B. Plan B works by delaying the release of an egg from the ovary to prevent fertilization. It may also make it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterine wall.
For Plan B to work as birth control you must take it before you ovulate. It must be taken after sex, but before conception. If conception has already happened and the egg has implanted before you take the pill, Plan B will not work. The key to this method is understanding your menstrual cycle and knowing when you ovulate.
Every woman’s cycle varies. Keeping track of your period start and stop dates, ovulation, and the possibility of fertilization creates a helpful record. There are several period tracking apps you can download to help. However, these apps are only as useful as the information you enter.
For Plan B to really be effective, manufacturers suggest you take the pill no more than 72 hours after sex.
The side effects of Plan B
As with any medicine you take, you should be aware of possible side effects. Some of the most common ones for Plan B are:
- A delay in your cycle and a change in your menstrual flow (usually heavier)
- Headache and possible dizziness
- Lower abdominal cramps
- Breast tenderness
The abortion pill is used to cause a medical abortion. Generally, this type of abortion is performed before a woman’s 10th week of pregnancy. It is a two-step process that requires two different drugs. To qualify for the procedure, you must have an ultrasound first. The ultrasound shows you how far along you are in your pregnancy.
After having an ultrasound, you will be given the first drug, mifepristone (Mifeprex®). This pill blocks the hormone progesterone. The drug causes the lining of the uterus to thin and prevents the fetus from staying implanted.
The second drug, Misoprostol, is taken hours or even days after the first drug. A woman is given this drug to take at home. Once taken, it causes the uterus to start contracting to expel the fetus.
The side effects of the Abortion Pill
Any abortion is a serious medical decision and should be discussed thoroughly with a healthcare physician. It often has lifelong emotional, psychological, and sometimes physical consequences. Here are the most common side effects for the abortion pill:
- Heavy bleeding and cramping as your uterus expels the fetus
- Nausea and vomiting
Comparing the Two
Plan B and the abortion pill method are very different from one another. The abortion pill terminates an existing pregnancy. Plan B prevents pregnancy if it is taken before a fertilized egg has implanted. Both methods can have serious side effects and risks. It is important to make an informed decision.
Changing Your Mind Is Possible After the First Pill
If a woman changes her mind between taking the first and second drug, there is a possibility of saving the pregnancy. The abortion pill reversal (APR) process involves flooding the pregnant woman’s system with progesterone, either with pills or injections.
Timing is everything. Studies suggest that progesterone should be given within 24 hours after a woman has taken the first pill, Mifepristone. APR will not work after the second drug, Misoprostol, has been taken. Contact Abortion Pill Rescue immediately.
What You Should Do
If you discover an unplanned pregnancy, we can help. Our staff at First Care Clinic is here to support you and provide confidential services free of charge, including lab-quality pregnancy testing. If we confirm your pregnancy, you can schedule a free ultrasound, too. Our ultrasounds are performed by nurse sonographers, who are licensed medical professionals.
We can help you look at all your options and provide you with helpful information.
You are not alone. We are here for you.