Once you have had an accident with your contraception or otherwise had unprotected sex, the pill in the morning can be helpful in preventing an unplanned pregnancy. Plan B is one of the most popular choices because it is available over-the-counter and can be taken within three days of unprotected sex, even if you are taking another contraceptive. But what if you need emergency contraception a second time – or again then? Is it OK to continue taking Plan B? POPSUGAR asked ob-gyns.
How often can you take Plan B?
As many times as you need, Sophia Yen, MD, MPH, co-founder and CEO of Pandia Health, the only women-based, physician-led obstetrics service, explained. The Plan B one-step website also notes this and says, “If you have already used Plan B, it can probably be used again after another occurrence of unprotected sex or failure with contraception.”
However, Plan B should not be used as your primary form of contraception. “It does not work as well as long-term contraception, such as IUD, implant, shot, contraception, contraception control, [or] birth control pills, and it does not work as well as prescription emergency contraception, “Dr. Yen told POPSUGAR. Prescription options include ulipristal acetate (UPA) pills – most commonly sold under the Ella brand – which are covered free of charge under the Affordable Care Act. just have a prescription pill on hand “in case of emergency,” Dr. Yen said.
Prescription emergency contraceptives are especially helpful for people with a higher BMI, for whom Plan B may not be as effective. Dr. Yen recommends using Ella if your BMI drops between 26 and 35, and a copper lUD to a BMI above this range.
The bottom line? If you’ve had unprotected sex, or your contraception failed, and you feel that Plan B is the best option for you, take it – even if you’ve used it before. Just remember: “It should not be used as a regular contraceptive. It is a morning after the opportunity to prevent pregnancy,” Kecia Gaither, MD, MPH, FACOG, director of perinatal services at NYC Health + Hospitals in Lincoln, told POPSUGAR. Dr. Gaither recommends that you talk to your doctor to find a reliable contraceptive that can help prevent the need for emergency contraception.