Plan B vs. Abortion Pill

Is it possible you are pregnant? Your period is late,you feel nauseous, and your breasts are tender. Yes, those are all possible pregnancy symptoms.If being pregnant was not something you had in mind, you are probably looking into your options.

Somewhere you heard about a pill that can make it “all go away.” Unfortunately, you do not know which pill to take. Plan B? The Abortion Pill? Is there even a difference? Here are some facts about both.

Plan B

If you have heard commercials or people talking about the “morning-after” or the “day-after pill,” they are talking about Plan B. 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.

Plan B One-Step is promoted as emergency contraception, but there is a catch! According to the FDA, it works three different ways:

Plan B acts primarily by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation). It may prevent the union of sperm and egg (fertilization). If fertilization does occur, Plan B may prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb (implantation). (Source:  FDA Info)

So, to prevent the egg from releasing or the sperm from fertilizing the egg (true “contraception”), the timing of the Plan B matters.  If fertilization has already happened that means you have a fetus in your womb and Plan B may prevent implantation – arguably a form of abortion.  (Source:  Plan B as Abortifacient)    If the egg has implanted before you take the pill, Plan B will not work.

For Plan B to really be effective, manufacturers suggest you take the pill no more than 72 hours after unprotected sex.

The side effects of Plan B 

As with any drugs you take, you need to be aware of possible side effects. Some of the most common ones for Plan B are:

  • Headache and possible dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • A delay in your cycle and a change in your menstrual flow (usually heavier)

Abortion Pill

The abortion pill method is known as a medical or chemical abortion. This type of abortion must be performed before the 10th week of pregnancy. It is a two-step process, not just one pill.Before you can have the procedure, you must have an ultrasound. The ultrasound gives you real-time information such as how far along you are and if your pregnancy is viable (a heartbeat is detected). If you are farther than about nine or ten weeks, this non-surgical option is not available to you according to FDA guidelines.

After having an ultrasound, you will be given the first pill, Mifepristone (Mifeprex®), 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 drug, Misoprostol, is taken hours or even days after the first drug. Once taken, it causes the uterus to start contracting to expel the fetus.

The side effects of the Abortion Pill

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 contracts to expel the fetus
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea

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 attempts to prevent pregnancy before fertilization occurs. Before you can choose either of these methods, you need more information about your pregnancy.

What You Should Do 

The first thing you should do if you are facing an unplanned pregnancy is contact BsideU For Life. Start with free and confidential pregnancy testing. If we confirm your pregnancy, we can possibly schedule a free ultrasound, too. We also recommend you get STI/STD testing and possible treatment at our clinic. Afterward, you can sit down with one of our 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 want to help you.