I get a lot of questions about how plan B works so let’s break it down:
First of all, Plan B does not cause an abortion. It can’t cause an abortion. It doesn’t have the right medications to do that. Besides, if causing an abortion was that easy we wouldn’t be facing the fight for abortion access that we are currently facing.
Plan B is simply a dose of progestin which is chemically identical to the progesterone produced by your own body.
If you are at a certain point in your menstrual cycle and you have not ovulated yet, this dose of progesterone can keep you from ovulating.
That means there might be sperm in your uterus, but if your body does not release an egg (ovulate) the sperm and egg cannot meet and you cannot become pregnant.
If you take Plan B and you already ovulated, the plan B medication will not do anything. You may become pregnant or you may not but the plan B will have no effect.
If you take Plan B and you are already pregnant the plan B will not affect the pregnancy. There is not a way for progestin to end a pregnancy.
Plan B is available “behind the counter.” That means you do not need a prescription for it, but you won’t find it on the shelf. You have to ask the pharmacist to get it for you (just like you do with some cold medicine). However, if you want your insurance to pay for it it will be cheaper with a prescription. You can get a prescription for Plan B at planned parenthood (614-222-3531), Primary one health (614-645-5500), or Nationwide Children’s Hospital (614-355-6350, up to age 21).
Plan B can work for up to 120 hours after unprotected sex, but it works best the sooner you take it.
Ideally when you get a prescription for any birth control, your healthcare provider should also give you a prescription for Plan B.