What is Plan B®?
When did you have sex
without a contraceptive or have a contraceptive accident?
Plan B® is an emergency contraceptive pill
Also known as the original morning-after pill, Plan B® is designed to be used when your usual birth control method has failed or been forgotten and you don’t want to get pregnant. Whether you’ve missed a few pills, the condom broke or slipped off, or you forgot to insert your diaphragm, you can choose Plan B® as a form of emergency contraception.
Plan B® can be taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex, but the sooner you take it, the more effective it is.
Plan B® is the #1 recommended brand of emergency contraceptive in Canada.*
*The Medical Post, Pharmacy Practice + Business and Profession Santé 2020 Survey on OTC Counselling and Recommendations.
The original morning-after pill
Plan B® is the first levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive pill to be authorized for sale in Canada. For many years, it was only available in a two-tablet format, but it is now in a convenient one-tablet format. This format offers women the same trusted method of emergency contraception in a convenient one-tablet dose.
Each tablet contains 1.5 mg of levonorgestrel—an ingredient that is also commonly found in birth control pills. Plan B® can prevent pregnancy if taken within 72 hours and preferably within 12 hours after a contraceptive accident or unprotected sex. The sooner you take it, the more effective it will be.
Most women can take Plan B®
Plan B® has been used by millions of women across Canada. Speak to your pharmacist to find out if levonorgestrel-containing medications are right for you. Be sure to talk to a doctor or pharmacist before taking Plan B® if you have any of the following conditions: undiagnosed abnormal vaginal bleeding, known or suspected breast cancer, active liver disease or tumour, high blood pressure, diabetes, or if you are taking any prescription drugs, if you are breastfeeding, or if you have a confirmed or suspected pregnancy.
Also make sure that you’re not allergic to levonorgestrel or any of the non-medicinal ingredients contained in Plan B®: colloidal silicon dioxide, potato starch, magnesium stearate, talc, corn starch and lactose monohydrate.
What it’s not
Plan B® is not an abortion pill. It won’t work—and shouldn’t be taken—if you’re already pregnant, or if you think you are.
Don’t take more than one dose unless recommended by a healthcare professional. Taking more doses will not make it more effective.
Plan B® does not provide protection against HIV/AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases or infections (STDs/STIs).
Plan B® is not for long-term protection against pregnancy. It only works to prevent pregnancy following one specific incident if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex.
Plan B® should not be considered as your regular contraceptive. If you’re even rarely or occasionally sexually active, find out about all available contraceptives and discuss them with your healthcare provider to see which one is best for you.
How to talk to a partner about using Plan B®
A good sexual relationship takes work and communication, which includes talking to your partner about using birth control before engaging in sex. Worrying about pregnancy can dampen the mood, so let your partner know that taking precautions will only help you relax and enjoy your intimate moments together. If those precautions ever fail, don’t panic! You have a plan B.
If you had unprotected sex or a contraceptive accident, here are some tips on how to initiate discussion of Plan B® with your partner:
- Be informed. Learn about Plan B® and how it works so you can answer any questions your partner may have.
- Be prepared. Think about what you want to say and how you want to say it. Putting together a list of points you want to cover will help you ease into the emergency contraception topic and better explain to your partner why you think Plan B® is a good option.
- Timing is key. Make sure the two of you are alone before bringing up Plan B®. You must find the right time and place to discuss emergency contraception with your partner—with no interruptions.
Once you’ve calmly communicated your thoughts, ask your partner what they think about Plan B® and using emergency contraception. Being open to their opinions and feelings will enable the two of you to make the right decision, together.
Knowledge is power. Being aware of all your contraceptive options, including emergency methods, will give you and your partner peace of mind and help you enjoy your sexual relationship to the fullest.