With the controversy surrounding Shippensburg University and the Plan B contraceptive, it is all too clear that there are several misconceptions not only about the vending machine on campus, but Plan B as well.
In order to alleviate some of this confusion, I have compiled a list of myths and misconceptions about Plan B and the correct facts about them.
It is important to note that these are just common facts about the emergency contraceptive, and you should contact a medical professional if you want more information.
“The Morning After Pill”
Formally titled “the morning after pill,” Plan B-One Step, it is a one-dose pill that is used as an emergency contraceptive.
“The morning after pill” is a common nickname for Plan B, which is actually a misconception itself.
Experts recommend that you take the pill as soon as possible, not just the morning after, according to webmd.com.
Plan B can be taken at any time.
Plan B is only effective up to three days after intercourse occurs. It is highly recommended you take Plan B as soon as possible, as the pills effectiveness decreases with time, according to planbonestep.com.
If the pill is taken within 72 hours, it has been proven to be 89 percent effective, while taken within 24 hours is 95 percent effective, according to webmd.com.
Plan B is the abortion pill.
Plan B is a back-up contraceptive that is used when other forms of birth control fail. It prevents pregnancy. It does not cause abortions, and Plan B will not work if you are already pregnant.
The pill prevents ovulation and can also prevent fertilization of an egg or attachment of a fertilized egg to the uterus.
RU-486 is what is known as the abortion pill.
Plan B and RU-486 are two different and separate pills, but are closely related due to their effectiveness after intercourse occurs, according to planbonestep.com.
Plan B can be used as a routine birth control option.
Plan B is not designed to routinely prevent pregnancy.
It is designed to prevent pregnancy only in emergency situations, and should not be abused.
Plan B doses are effective if you take it before intercourse, according to webmd.com.
Although Plan B has been FDA-approved, there are still risks that come with taking the contraceptive.
Potential side effects include: vomiting and nausea, abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, dizziness and more.
It may cause unexpected bleeding, and cause your next menstrual cycle to be irregular.
It is very easy to purchase Plan B.
In July 2009, the FDA approved the selling of the contraceptive to those 17 years and older without a prescription.
Plan B is an over-the-counter drug, and that only requires proof of age when purchasing the product, according to a statement from FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg in December 2011.
However, in February 2011, Teva Women’s Health, Inc. submitted an application to have the “prescription only” status removed for women under 17.
Through the evaluation of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, they concluded the drug should be permitted to sell without a prescription status to those under 17.
However, the Secretary of Health and Human Services overruled the FDA’s ruling, which kept Plan B at its current guidelines, according to Hamburg’s statement.