Why Does Plan B Affect Your Period This Way
Plan B uses a synthetic hormone called levonorgestrel to prevent pregnancy by stopping an egg from being released.
Levonorgestrel is found in birth control pills, but Plan B contains a higher dose that can alter your bodys natural hormone levels.
The extra hormones can, in turn, affect the menstrual cycle, leading to an earlier or delayed period as well as heavier or lighter bleeding.
How Can Plan B Affect Your Period
There are two types of emergency contraceptive pills , but you can expect these kinds of menstrual changes to happen after taking either of them:
- An early or late period after taking the pill
- Changes to your next period
Researchers at Princeton University looked at past studies and said that menstrual cycles could be shortened after taking Plan B, meaning that the time between now and when you get your next period could be shorter. When we talk menstrual cycles, we’re tracking the first day you get your period as day 1, up until the first day of your next period. Everyone’s different, but usually, you’d get your period every 28 days or so.
They also found even if Plan B didn’t shorten the time until your next cycle, it could cause your next period the following month to be longer.
Why Does Plan B Delay My Period
We all know that no matter how carefully we plan our daily life, theres still a small chance of something going wrong. If something as big as life can throw us a curveball, there is no guarantee that the creation of another life wouldnt be the next curveball thrown at you. If you are anything like most women, you carefully arrange your mornings around your birth control plan. However, there may be times where you might forget to take your daily birth control pill so you might opt to take a morning after pill, or what is commonly known as Plan B, whenever your partner and you arent confident about your birth control methods.
What is Plan B?
For those unfamiliar with the Plan B One-Step pill, it is an emergency contraception that is taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex. It is to be used as a backup plan in case your other birth control methods have failed. Most women commonly take it the morning after, hence the nickname. You may have noticed that after taking Plan B that it affects your menstrual cycle.
So, why does the morning after pill delay periods?
What can I expect when my period does return?
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Why Can Plan B Delay Your Period
Taking Plan B creates a hormonal imbalance in your body. While that sounds like a bad thing, it really isnt. Basically, Plan B contains high levels of progesterone. Progesterone is a hormone that naturally occurs in a womans body when she is pregnant. Progesterone slows down the ovulation process or stops it entirely which is why it occurs in such high levels while a woman is pregnant. You certainly dont want to be ovulating while youre already carrying a baby. When you take Plan B, you are getting a high dosage of that hormone which in effect tricks your body into thinking its already pregnant which stops the ovulation process. When the hormone level begins to decrease rapidly , your body then thinks youre no longer pregnant and begins the ovulation process all over again. This is also why some women experience bleeding or spotting after they take Plan B. Your body passes the blood rich uterine lining and bleeding may occur at this point. This is where the confusion may come in.
Other Side Effects Of Plan B
Now you have known the answer to “Does Plan B affect your period?”, it’s time to learn more side effects of consuming Plan B. But experiences are very individual and vary from person to person. If you have taken Plan B or are planning to, it is important to know what the side effects may be.
- Common side effects of Plan B include nausea, headache, fatigue, dizziness, abdominal pain, breast tenderness, vomiting and diarrhea.
- Less common side effects of Plan B include sudden stomach cramps, uterine or vaginal hemorrhaging, itching, rashes or any of the effects noted above being persistent or worsening.
In some instances, the use of Plan B is not advisable. If you have irregular vaginal bleeding, allergies to the ingredients, or a confirmed/suspected pregnancy, the use of Plan B is best avoided.
For further information on plan B, check out the link below for a video explaining Plan B in further detail:
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Is It Normal To Have Spotting After Plan B
After taking plan B, it is normal for women to experience bleeding and spotting due to the progestin hormone that is contained in the pill. Bleeding can occur within seven days after you have taken this emergency contraception. However, the bleeding should come to an end by the time your next period is starting.
Types Of Emergency Contraception Pills
There are 2 types of emergency contraceptive pills commonly sold in the U.S.:
Editor’s note: Technically, a doctor could have you take higher doses of regular combination birth control pills as emergency contraception, something called the Yuzpe regimen. But that’s not as effective as the other 2 types listed above, and it brings with it more side effects. Additionally, the copper IUD could be inserted within 5 days as a form of emergency contraception.
Scientists have found that both Plan B One-Step that you can get over-the-counter, or the prescription for ella, are safe to use to prevent pregnancy. Any side effects that you have after taking either of the emergency contraceptive pills should be mild and short-term.
After you take emergency contraceptive pills, the most common side effect is – you guessed it – changes to your menstrual periods.
Here is a list of some possible side effects after using a “morning-after” pill like Plan B:
- Irregular bleeding
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What Happens After I Take It
Side effects of taking Plan B are generally mild and can include:
- Abdominal pain
- Occasional spotting for 1-3 days
If side effects are severe or you are having an allergic reaction seek medical attention immediately.
Your period should start within 21 days after taking Plan B. If your period is late by more than 1 week, pregnancy testing and follow-up with your health care provider are recommended. Plan B will not prevent pregnancy from future acts of unprotected intercourse, so use birth control until your next period.
Waiting Games: How Long Can The Morning After Pill Delay Your Period
If youre staring at the clock waiting for your period to show up, we feel you.
Even though EC can cause your period to come at any time from a week early to a week late, everyones different. Its possible that it can take even longer for your flow to return. But after about 2 weeks, the chance youre actually pregnant goes up.
Whats to blame for the delay? That extra-strong dose of levonorgestrel . Though some hormonal birth control pills also contain levonorgestrel to prevent pregnancy, the morning after pill has it in much higher quantities. This can do a number on your menstrual cycle, including delaying your period.
In a 2007 study, researchers found that about 15 percent of participants who took Plan B experienced significant changes in menstrual cycle length, period length, and menstrual appearance.
Heres what might happen when you get your flow back.
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If Your Cycle Is Altered By Plan B How Will You Know That You’re Not Pregnant
Experiencing vaginal bleeding after taking Plan B could be a sign that you aren’t pregnant. “You may experience bleeding similar to a period after taking Plan B, which may indicate that fertilization has not occurred,” notes Kakani.
Your cycle should also go back to normal soon. Most of the changes caused by emergency contraceptives like Plan B do not persist beyond one menstrual cycle.
How To Take This Medication:
Plan B is a pill that can be taken with water. This medication is most effective if used within 24 hours after unprotected sex, but can be used within 5 days after unprotected sex. Effectiveness of Plan B decreases the longer you wait to take it.
A nurse will take your blood pressure before giving you the medication.
Tell your health care provider if you vomit within 2 hours of taking Plan B. Another dose may be needed.
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What Is In The Morning Pill And What Does It Do
The morning after pill, otherwise known as plan B, is composed of a high hormonal load of levonorgestrel. Levonorgestrel is a hormone similar to progesterone and is responsible for either preventing or delaying ovulation and/or interfering with egg fertilization: depending on when it is taken. This hormone thickens the cervical mucus so that sperm cannot pass through, in turn hindering the implantation process of the ovum .
Some morning after pills can also be made up of meloxicam, an anti-inflammatory with contraceptive effects that has been said to have fewer side effects than levonorgestrel.
Depending on when the pill is taken and which specific type you have chosen, its effectiveness can range between 89% and 95%. It is recommended to take the pill as early as possible within the 72-hour radius.
What If Its Been Longer Than Expected And Still No Period
Its normal for Plan B to affect the timing of your period. But if its a week later than usual or still hasnt arrived within 3 weeks of taking Plan B, theres a possibility that youre pregnant.
EC pills containing levonorgestrel can reduce the chance of pregnancy by 95 percent if taken within 24 hours of sex. This lowers to 88 percent if the pill is taken between 24 and 72 hours after sex.
If youre unsure whether Plan B has worked, take a pregnancy test.
Take one straight away if you keep track of your cycle and know that your period is at least a week late.
But if youre not sure where you are in your menstrual cycle, wait 3 weeks after taking Plan B before using a pregnancy test.
Pregnancy tests detect a specific type of hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin , which is only produced a few days after conception. So taking one too early can produce a false result.
If your test comes back negative, wait a couple more weeks to see if your period arrives.
If it doesnt, take another pregnancy test and visit a doctor for advice on delayed periods if the result comes back negative once again.
If the result is positive, book a doctors appointment. Theyll be able to confirm your pregnancy and talk you through all the available options, including both medical and surgical abortions.
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If You Take More Ellaone Than You Should
There have been no reports of harmful effects from taking a higher dose than recommended of this medicine However do ask your pharmacist, doctor or other healthcare professional for advice.If you have any further questions on the use of this medicine, ask your pharmacist, doctor or other healthcare professional.
What Should You Do If You Think You Might Be Pregnant During Lockdown
Dealing with the possibility of an unplanned pregnancy can be scary enough at the best of times, but we understand it could be even more worrying during a pandemic.
Dont panic though, because essential health care services are still operating and will still be able to help you.
If you think you may be pregnant during lockdown, you have options available to you, depending on whether you want to continue with the pregnancy or not, says Julia, during COVID-19, as much of this will be done remotely as possible to protect you.
Worrying about a delayed period is rough, but there are many different reasons why it might not have come yet many of which are not a cause for concern.
The length of your menstrual cycle can vary from month to month and things like stress and different sleeping patterns can also have an impact. As the morning after pill works by delaying ovulation, it makes sense that it may also push back your period by a couple of days.
Dont jump to any conclusions and see if that pesky period arrives. Remember that you have options no matter what happens its your body, your choice.
If youve taken the morning after pill and would like to share your experience, please do so by clicking the link below.
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How Do You Know If Plan B Worked
Doctors say that you don’t need any tests or procedures after using emergency contraception. However, if you haven’t gotten your period within a week of when it should come or expect it to come, you should have a pregnancy test. Don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor for some good, solid medical advice.
When you take it as directed, your emergency contraception pill should be safe and effective. The California State Board of Pharmacy says that emergency contraception could reduce your risk of getting pregnant by up to 89%. Note that this number is only an estimate, and it rides upon the fact that you take it on time, as soon as possible after having unprotected sex.
Could I Be Pregnant
Some spotting after using Plan B is harmless. It shouldnt be taken as a sure sign that youre not pregnant, though.
Youll only know that youre not pregnant when you get your period or have a negative pregnancy test.
In addition to spotting and menstrual changes, other potential side effects from Plan B may include:
- breast tenderness
If they happen at all, these side effects should only last a few days and you probably wont have all of them.
Emergency contraceptive pills are not associated with serious or long-term side effects. Plan B wont affect your ability to get pregnant or carry a pregnancy in the future.
Remember, your period may be late even if youre not pregnant.
You dont have to do anything for spotting, getting your period early, or a heavier-than-normal period. When you take Plan B, keep some menstrual products on hand just in case.
Your cycle should return to normal the following month.
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