Plan B is an effective emergency contraceptive option but it’s only effective when taken the way it’s supposed to be taken. One of the biggest issues women have when considering this option is understanding how to take Plan B properly. In truth, Plan B really isn’t all that complicated. The most important thing to remember is that Plan B must be taken as soon as possible. If you wait too long, the medication will not be effective at all. First, let’s talk about deciding to take Plan B.
How to Take Plan B: Is Plan B the Right Option for You?
Plan B is medication and should be treated as such. It’s not the same as birth control pills or condoms. It is taken after unsafe sex instead of before and while it still prevents pregnancy, it does so in a different way. The biggest concern you should have before taking Plan B is whether or not you’re acting quickly enough for the medication to be effective. If you’ve had unsafe sex or if you believe your birth control method has failed, you need to take action as soon as possible. In order for Plan B to be effective, you must take it within at least 72 hours of unsafe sex. The sooner you take it though, the more effective it will be. If it has already been more than 72 hours, Plan B will not be the right option for you.
How to Take Plan B: Knowing When to Take the Doses
In the section above, we talked about making sure you take Plan B within 72 hours of unprotected sex. If you’ve chosen a single dose form of Plan B, that’s where your job ends. Most women will opt for the two dose version of the pill though. If that’s the case with you, you must be sure you take the first dose within 72 hours and the second dose exactly 12 hours later. If you’re concerned you won’t remember, set an alarm on your phone. It is absolutely vital that you take that next dose when you’re supposed to or the effectiveness of the medication will be compromised.
How to Take Plan B: Planning for Side Effects
The most common side effects of Plan B are nausea, fatigue and headache so try to plan your doses around these potential side effects. Don’t take it just before you have to go to work or need to do something that requires you to be at peak performance. You might not experience any side effects but the chance is still there and you want to be ready just in case. If you have no choice but to take the medication when you’re going to be heading for work or heading to school, expect those side effects and prepare yourself to deal with them.
It’s also worth noting alcohol can increase the chances of experiencing some of the more troublesome side effects of Plan B. While every woman will have a different experience, drinking alcohol after taking Plan B should really be avoided. It’s technically considered safe to drink while taking Plan B but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea.