Can I Take Plan B Instead of the Abortion Pill?

Here is a woman wondering Can I Take Plan B Instead of the Abortion Pill?

The short answer? No. The key difference between the two drugs is that the abortion pill is used after the pregnancy has started, and emergency contraception is intended to work before a fertilized egg is implanted in the uterus.

How the Abortion Pill Works

The abortion pill is actually a series of two pills taken up to 10 weeks (70 days) gestation.

The first pill, mifepristone, stops the pregnancy from growing and the other, misoprostol, usually taken 48 hours later, empties the uterus by forcing it to contract and expel the pregnancy and uterine lining. 

Side Effects of the Abortion Pill

Any medical procedure will always pose some type of risk. Here is a list of potential side-effects listed by the Mayo Clinic: 

  • Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
  • An ongoing unwanted pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

How Plan B Works

Plan B primarily works by delaying or preventing ovulation. It does not end a  pregnancy that has already been implanted, nor is it intended as a primary method of birth control.

For Plan B to work effectively, it should be taken no more than 72 hours after unprotected sex. But if the fertilized egg has already been implanted, it will not be effective to end a pregnancy.

Side Effects of Plan B

According to Mayo Clinic, symptoms typically last only a few days, but some of the potential side effects include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Breast tenderness
  • Bleeding between periods or heavier menstrual bleeding
  • Lower abdominal pain or cramps

What is My Best Option?

The abortion pill and Plan B are two different types of medications, and they are not interchangeable. We understand the anxiety associated with an unintended pregnancy. If you think there’s a chance you might be pregnant, give us a call.

At Liberty Women’s Clinic, our compassionate, knowledgeable staff is able to answer questions and help you explore your options. We also offer free services such as pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and STI testing.

Every woman deserves to have confidential support in making her medical decisions, and we are here to help! 


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This information is intended for general educational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional counseling and/or medical advice.

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