The best way women can protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies, especially if they have had unprotected intercourse, is to pop a Plan B pill. Plan B is just another generic name given to the morning after pill or emergency contraceptive.
Plan B is the ideal option for women who have had unprotected sex or experienced a contraceptive failure and don’t want to become pregnant.
A Look at Plan B Pills
The morning after pill Plan B, is available as an OTC drug to sexually active women over the age of 18. The Plan B pill can protect a woman from unwanted pregnancy if taken within 120 hours or five days after having unprotected sex or experiencing a contraceptive failure. Ideally, this morning after pill should be taken sooner than later to avoid pregnancy.
Plan B emergency contraceptive contains the hormone levonorgestrel. This hormone helps to thicken the cervical mucus. Thickening of the cervical mucus thwarts pregnancy in two ways. Firstly, it becomes very difficult for the sperm to cross the cervical barrier and fertilize the egg and secondly the cervical wall becomes so thick that it is impossible for the fertilized egg to attach itself to the endometrial lining.
There are two versions of the Plan B pill. The original version of Plan B emergency contraceptive comprised of two pills. The first pill had to be taken within three days of having unprotected sex and the second pill had to be taken exactly twelve hours later. A newer version of Plan B pill is now available and it is called the ‘Plan B One Step’.
Plan B Side Effects
Like with all contraceptive pills, popping a Plan B pill can also produce some unpleasant side effects. Plan B pill should be taken as the last resort when regular contraceptive measures have failed. Women should avoid misusing the plan B pill as it produces many unpleasant health problems. Some common side effects produced by taking plan B pills have been described below.
Hormone Related Side Effects
The main component of Plan B emergency contraceptive is the hormone levonorgestrel. So, it is but natural that a woman who has taken the Plan B pill will notice at least some changes in her hormonal balance. Hormonal side effects of Plan B contraceptive pill include delayed periods and unusually heavy menstrual flow. Hormonal fluctuations brought about by taking the Plan B pill can also cause severe breast tenderness.
Digestive System Side Effects
Most women who take the Plan B emergency contraceptive pill have complained of some or the other digestive problem. The most common digestive problem caused by taking Plan B pill is lower abdominal pain. The lower abdominal pain is generally accompanied by a sensation of severe abdominal bloating and nausea.
Central Nervous System Side Effects
The Plan B pill is so powerful that it can even produce unpleasant side effects on the CNS or central nervous system. Nearly eighteen percent of all women who had taken the Plan B pill complained of excruciating headaches which lasted for almost a week (after taking the pill). These women also complained of dizziness, lack of co-ordination and excessive fatigue.
Allergic reactions ranging from hives to severe difficulty in breathing were also noticed in women who had taken the Plan B pill.