Your period is late. Is it possible you are pregnant? If you are sexually active, then yes, you could possibly be pregnant. Maybe you have heard about a pill that will make it “all go away.” Plan B? The Abortion Pill? Is there even a difference? Here are some facts about both.
If you have heard commercials or people talking about the “morning-after pill” or the “day-after pill,” they are talking about Plan B. According to research, Plan B uses the hormone levonorgestrel to change your cervix. This hormone makes it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus.
Plan B is designed to keep you from getting pregnant, but not to end an existing pregnancy.
The side effects of Plan B
As with any medicine you take, you should be aware of possible side effects. Some of the most common ones for Plan B are:
- Headache and possible dizziness
- A delay in your cycle and a change in your menstrual flow (usually heavier)
The abortion pill method is known as a medical or chemical abortion. Generally, this type of abortion is performed before a woman’s 10th week of pregnancy. It is a two-step process that begins with a clinic visit.
The first step is a pill, Mifepristone (Mifeprex®), andis given in the clinic. This pill blocks the hormone progesterone commonly referred to as the “pregnancy hormone.” The drug causes the lining of the uterus to thin and prevents the fetus from staying implanted.
The second step is another pill, Misoprostol, is taken hours or even days after the first drug. A woman is given this drug to take at home. Once taken, it causes the uterus to start contracting to expel the fetus.
The side effects of the Abortion Pill
Any abortion is a serious medical decision and should be discussed thoroughly with a healthcare physician. It often has lifelong emotional, psychological, and sometimes physical consequences. Here are the most common side effects for the abortion pill:
- Heavy bleeding and cramping as your uterus expels the fetus
- Nausea and vomiting
Comparing the Two
As you can see, Plan B and the abortion pill method are very different from one another. The abortion pill terminates an existing pregnancy. Plan B prevents pregnancy if it is taken before a fertilized egg has implanted. However, an abortion could occur if Plan B is taken after the egg has implanted.
Changing Your Mind Is Possible After the First Pill
If, after taking the first pill, you change your mind, there is a possibility that you can reverse the effect. The abortion pill reversal (APR) process involves flooding the pregnant woman’s system with progesterone, either with pills or injections.
Timing is everything. Studies suggest that progesterone should be given within 24 hours after a woman has taken the first pill, Mifepristone. APR will not work after the second drug, Misoprostol, has been taken.
What You Should Do
If you discover an unplanned pregnancy, we are here to help you. Schedule your free and confidential pregnancy testing at Mosaic Health. If we confirm your pregnancy, you can schedule a free ultrasound too. We also recommend scheduling a free STI/STD test at our clinic. Afterward, you can sit down with one of our Nurses or trained client advocates for a confidential consultation. Together, we will review all your test results and discuss your life situation and the options you have. You are not alone. We can help you.