Plan B - One Step Emergency Contraception

    What is Plan B One-Step™?
    Plan B One-Step™ is the only emergency contraception that is just one pill. Other emergency contraception requires two pills, 12 hours apart. It is a backup method of preventing pregnancy—and is not for routine use. It can reduce the chance of pregnancy when taken as directed up to 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex (if your regular birth control method fails, or if you've had sex without birth control).

    How does Plan B One-Step™ work ?
    Plan B One-Step™ is one pill that has a higher dose of levonorgestrel, a hormone found in many birth control pills that healthcare professionals have been prescribing for more than 35 years. Plan B One-Step™ works in a similar way to prevent pregnancy. Plan B One-Step™ will not affect an existing pregnancy.

    When is it appropriate to use Plan B One-Step™?
    You can use Plan B One-Step™ after you've had unprotected sex or contraceptive failure one or more times in the last 72 hours (3 days), and you don't want to become pregnant. Plan B One-Step™ can be used as a backup method for birth control if, for example:

    • Your regular birth control failed (your partner's condom broke or slipped)
    • You made a mistake with your regular method (you forgot to take your birth control pills)
    • You didn't use any birth control method

    When is it not appropriate to use Plan B One-Step™?
    Plan B One-Step™ should not be used:

    • If you're already pregnant, because it won't work
    • If you're allergic to levonorgestrel or any of the ingredients in Plan B One-Step™
    • In place of regular birth control. Plan B One-Step™ should not be used as routine birth control, as it's not as effective. Plan B One-Step™ won't protect you from HIV infection (the virus that causes AIDS) or any other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

    When should I use Plan B One-Step™?
    You only have a few days to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. Plan B One-Step™ works better the sooner you take it. And unlike other emergency contraception, it's only one pill, so you can get what you need right away—within 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure.

    How effective is Plan B One-Step™?
    If it is taken as directed within 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure, it can significantly decrease the chance that you will become pregnant. About 7 out of every 8 women who would have gotten pregnant will not become pregnant. Plan B One-Step™ works even better if taken within the first 24 hours after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure.

    How will I know if Plan B One-Step™ worked?
    The only way of knowing Plan B One-Step™ has been effective is when you get your next period, which should come at the expected time, or within a week of the expected time. If your period is more than seven days late, you may be pregnant.

    What if I'm already pregnant and use Plan B One-Step™?
    There is no medical evidence that Plan B One-Step™ would harm a developing baby. If you take Plan B One-Step™ accidentally after you're already pregnant, or it doesn't work and you become pregnant, it's not likely to cause any harm to you or your pregnancy. Plan B One-Step™ will not disrupt or affect an existing pregnancy.

    Can I use Plan B One-Step™ for regular birth control?
    Plan B One-Step™ should not be used as regular birth control. Plan B One-Step™ is not as effective as using a regular birth control method correctly and consistently. It is a backup method to be used if your regular birth control fails, or if you have sex without birth control. If you have unprotected sex after taking Plan B One-Step™, it cannot protect you from getting pregnant.

    How often can I use Plan B One-Step™?
    Plan B One-Step™ should only be used in emergencies, but there is no medical reason why you can't use it more than once. Don't be afraid to use Plan B One-Step™ when you need to, but remember that it should never replace routine methods of contraception, as it simply isn't as effective.

    Plan B One-Step™ doesn't provide long-term protection against future pregnancy—it only works to prevent this one incident. If you are sexually active, even occasionally, see your healthcare professional or clinic to find a method of birth control and STD prevention that suits you.

    Will I experience any side effects from Plan B One-Step™?
    When used as directed, Plan B One-Step™ is safe and effective. Side effects may include changes in your period, nausea, lower abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, dizziness, and breast tenderness. Some women may have changes in their period, a heavier or lighter next period, or a period that is early or late. If your period is more than a week late, you may be pregnant. If you have severe abdominal pain, you may have an ectopic pregnancy, and should get immediate medical attention.

    What warnings should I know about when using Plan B One-Step™?
    Do not use Plan B One-Step™:

    • If you're already pregnant, because it won't work
    • If you're allergic to levonorgestrel or any of the ingredients in Plan B One-Step™
    • In place of regular birth control. Plan B One-Step™ should not be used as routine birth control, as it isn't as effective. Plan B One-Step™ won't protect you from HIV infection (the virus that causes AIDS) or any other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

    When using this product you may have:

    • Changes in your period
    • Nausea
    • Lower Abdominal Pain
    • Fatigue
    • Headache
    • Dizziness
    • Breast Tenderness

    If you should experience severe abdominal pain, you may have an ectopic pregnancy and should get immediate medical attention.

    When do I start taking my regular birth control pills after Plan B One-Step™?
    It is recommended that a regular method of contraception be started immediately after Plan B One-Step™, since 
Plan B One-Step™ does not reliably protect against pregnancy beyond the day it is used. Check with your healthcare professional for instructions on taking your oral contraceptive. You should not deviate from the directions for use of your usual contraceptive.

    Information from the Plan B website