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How Does Plan B Affect Your Body?

If you’re sexually active, there’s always a chance you could get pregnant, even when using protection. Perhaps you’re considering Plan B to avoid an unplanned pregnancy. It seems like a simple fix, but before taking Plan B, it’s crucial to understand how it could affect your body and what to do if it fails.

Today, we’re exploring Plan B—how it works, the potential risks and side effects, and what to do if you still get pregnant after taking it. Keep reading to learn more!

How Does Plan B Work?

Plan B is a form of emergency contraception. The goal of this medication is to lower the risk of pregnancy by delaying ovulation or preventing fertilization[1]. It’s important to know that Plan B (and any other form of emergency contraception) should not be used as a replacement for regular birth control[1]. It should also be noted that Plan B tends to be less effective for women who weigh 165 pounds or more[2].

Is Plan B an Abortion Pill?

They may seem similar, but Plan B and the abortion pill are not considered the same thing. The difference is that Plan B aims to delay ovulation or prevent fertilization (as mentioned above), while the abortion pill ends a pregnancy that has already started[1].

What are the Side Effects of Plan B?

It’s important to be aware of the potential side effects of Plan B so you can protect your health! Plan B has been known to cause[1]:

  • Allergic reaction to levonorgestrel (a hormone found in Plan B)

  • Fatigue

  • Cramps or abdominal pain

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Breast tenderness

  • Dizziness

  • Headache

  • Irregular or delayed periods

Can Plan B Cause Irregular Periods?

As mentioned above, Plan B can cause irregular periods, which can be stressful to deal with if you’re concerned about an unplanned pregnancy. After taking Plan B, your period could be delayed up to a week. You may also experience bleeding between periods or heavier bleeding during your next period[1].

If bleeding or spotting lasts longer than a week or you experience severe lower abdominal pain three to five weeks after taking Plan B, contact your doctor immediately. These symptoms can indicate that you became pregnant, but a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy occurred[1].

What if Plan B Fails?

If your period is delayed for more than three to four weeks after taking Plan B, it may be a sign that it failed[1]. Your next step is to determine whether or not you’re pregnant. Consider scheduling a free pregnancy test and free ultrasound at CORE Healthcare for Women of Central Georgia!

If your pregnancy test comes back positive, don’t panic. Our compassionate team of medical professionals is here to help you explore all of your pregnancy options so that you can make an informed and empowered decision! We will help equip you to take your next steps with confidence!

Give us a call at (478) 333-5000 or schedule your appointment online today.

Please be aware that CORE Healthcare for Women of Central Georgia does not provide or refer for abortion services.


  1. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, June 3). Morning-after pill. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from

  2. Cleland, K., Raymond, E. G., Westley, E., & Trussell, J. (2014, December). Emergency contraception review: Evidence-based recommendations for clinicians. Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology. Retrieved from


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