Can you take Plan B while on the birth control pill?

It is essential that people who decide to use the Plan B pill continue to take their birth control pills as usual unless a doctor advises otherwise. Taking both types of pill can provide a more lasting form of contraception.

The Plan B pill usually contains higher doses of hormones than birth control pills so taking both pills can cause some side effects.

Is It safe to take Plan B while on birth control?

According to the manufacturers of Plan B One-Step, people should resume taking birth control pills immediately after taking the Plan B pill.

Taking birth control pills after taking the Plan B pill can help to prevent unwanted pregnancy going forward.

Does it affect the next period?

Taking the Plan B pill in addition to continuing to take birth control pills may result in the next period being slightly different than usual.

For example, periods may:

  • be earlier or later than expected
  • be heavier or lighter than usual
  • cause more symptoms, such as nausea or cramping

If a person’s period is more than a week later than expected after taking Plan B, they should take a pregnancy test to rule out pregnancy. Anyone who has concerns about taking birth control pills or the Plan B pill should talk to a doctor.

How does Plan B work?

It is possible to take the Plan B pill up to 3 days after unprotected sex, even though many people call it the “morning-after” pill. However, the sooner a person takes Plan B following unprotected intercourse, the more effective it is in preventing pregnancy.

The Plan B pill contains 1.5 milligrams (mg) of the hormone levonorgestrel. Levonorgestrel is a synthetic chemical that mimics the natural hormone progesterone. It triggers several responses in the body that prevent pregnancy.

Levonorgestrel ensures that the body is:

  • Preventing ovulation, the process by which the ovary releases an egg. If there is no egg to fertilize, pregnancy is not possible.
  • Thickening the mucus in the cervix, which helps prevent sperm from reaching the uterus and combining with an egg.
  • Thinning the uterine lining, which reduces the likelihood of a fertilized egg attaching to the uterus.

There are many misconceptions regarding how the Plan B pill works. The pill is not an abortion pill as it does not destroy or damage a fetus. Instead, it prevents a pregnancy from occurring in the first place. Once an embryo has implanted in the uterus, Plan B will not disrupt it or cause an abortion.

Anyone who has had unprotected sex or failure of their birth control method can take the Plan B pill. This pill is available without a prescription and has no age restrictions.

Some people should avoid taking Plan B, including those who are:

  • already pregnant
  • allergic to levonorgestrel or any other ingredients present in the Plan B pill
  • trying to use it as an alternative to regular birth control (Plan B is effective in one-time doses, but is not suitable for routine pregnancy prevention)
  • male, as the hormone is not effective in preventing a male from getting females pregnant

What to expect after taking Plan B

There are some potential side effects of taking the Plan B pill. Side effects are usually most significant in the 1–2 days after taking the pill and should subside after that.

A primary consequence of taking the pill is that the next period may be different regarding timing, flow, and side effects.

If a person’s period is more than a week late, they should take a pregnancy test to ensure that they are not pregnant.

It is essential to understand that taking the Plan B pill does not protect people from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The Plan B pill contains larger amounts of the hormones that are present in birth control pills.

Taking this emergency contraceptive causes a boost in the body’s hormone levels, which increases the likelihood of preventing pregnancy.

However, there are medications and herbal supplements that could affect the way the Plan B pill works.

Medications that may make Plan B less effective include:

  • barbiturates
  • carbamazepine
  • felbamate
  • griseofulvin
  • oxcarbazepine
  • phenytoin
  • rifampin
  • St. John’s wort
  • topiramate

People should always ask a doctor or pharmacist about any medications they may be taking and how they could impact the effectiveness of Plan B medication.


People should continue taking birth control pills as usual even after taking the Plan B pill.

The Plan B pill is only intended to be an emergency medication, not a regular method of contraception.

If someone has difficulty maintaining a regular birth control pill schedule, they should talk to their doctor about other birth control methods, such as intrauterine devices (IUDs).

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