Misconceptions can lead to conception. More often than you might think, unplanned pregnancies happen because we donít have all the facts. Or, if we do have the facts, we sometimes kid ourselves they donít apply to us. If youíve had unprotected sex or a contraceptive accident, you are at risk of an unwanted pregnancy Ė so donít wait till itís too late. Itís only human to put off decisions or tell ourselves that everythingís fine. But if you wait for your next period, you may have a much bigger decision to make.
I’ve had unprotected sex. Am I likely to get pregnant?
You can get pregnant at any time during your monthly cycle—the start of one period to the beginning of the next. Although people talk about a “safe time of the month,” it’s hard to tell when this is, for many reasons.
Your most fertile time of the month is when you’re ovulating (producing an egg), but most women aren’t aware when this is happening. Also, it takes several days for an egg to make its way from the ovary down the Fallopian tube and an egg can be fertilized at any point during this journey. Sperm can live for up to seven days, so even if you haven’t ovulated when you have sex, the sperm could still fertilize the egg afterwards.
Many women don’t have regular periods. The time between your periods can vary, depending on what’s happening in your life, whether you’re stressed, and whether or not you’re eating properly. This makes it even more difficult to calculate your “safe” time.
When accidents happen, and you don’t want to get pregnant, emergency contraception is there as a backup. It’s not something you should use regularly and you should never think of it as an alternative to a long-term method of birth control.
Is plan B an abortion pill?
Absolutely not. It may be comforting to know that plan B does not work if you are already pregnant (a fertilized egg has attached to the wall of the uterus). So if you take plan B, you will not be terminating a pregnancy. However, if you already have a confirmed pregnancy, you should not use plan B because it will not be effective.
Will plan B throw off my period?
plan B has no long-term effect on your monthly cycle. Most women will get their period when expected and their cycle will continue as normal. For some women, their period can come earlier or later than usual and be lighter or heavier.
If your period is delayed more than a week or if you have any other cause for concern, talk to a health professional. More than occasional use (more than once within a menstrual cycle or more than once a month) may upset your menstrual cycle.
Will plan B affect my fertility?
There is no evidence that plan B has any effect on a woman’s future ability to become pregnant.
If plan B fails, or I’m already pregnant will it harm the baby?
If the pill fails or if you already have a confirmed pregnancy, there is no evidence that plan B will harm the developing fetus.
What will happen at the pharmacy?
In a province where plan B is kept behind the pharmacy counter, the pharmacist will need to ask you a few simple questions before giving you plan B to ensure it’s right for you. These professionals have been trained to treat requests for emergency contraception sympathetically and confidentially. In some cases, your pharmacist may refer you to a doctor or clinic for emergency contraception instead. In a province or territory where plan B is kept over the counter, you can find it in one of the following sections: Birth Control, Contraceptives, Feminine Hygiene or Family Planning.
How often can I take plan B?
plan B should only be used in emergencies and not on a regular basis. However, there is no medical reason why you can’t use it more than once.
Remember that it should never replace regular, long-term methods of contraception. The pregnancy rate of plan B is calculated for a single use. If plan B is used on more than one occasion, the cumulative pregnancy rate will be higher. Also, if plan B is taken more than once within a menstrual cycle or more than occasional once-a-month use, it may upset your period.
Do I need a prescription for plan B?
plan B is available at pharmacies across Canada without a prescription from your doctor. It is kept behind the counter in Saskatchewan and is available under prescription by your pharmacist in Quebec. plan B is available over the counter in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and the Yukon. It can be found in either of these sections: Birth Control, Contraceptives, Feminine Hygiene or Family Planning.
Where can I find more information?
If you still have questions, you can call us toll-free, or email us for more info:
Paladin Medinfo Number: 1-888-550-6060