Let’s get personal for a few minutes, babes. I want to talk about something that can seem scary or daunting or shameful, but it’s not. I know it’s not, because it’s something I’ve done myself. I want to talk about Plan B One-Step® emergency contraception and help debunk some myths about it – like who it’s for and when to use it. You guys know from following my blog and Instagram that I am so pro women’s empowerment, and part of that is pushing for more education for us women on our bodies and our healthcare options. I’m very fortunate that I grew up surrounded by people that were very open and sex-positive – so I knew from an early age how to be safe, take precaution, and protect myself for when the time came so I could be prepared.
There’s a total misconception, almost a stigma, about what “kind of girl” uses Plan B One-Step®. It’s not only for the single, “party girl” – though she has the right to make her own decisions about her sexual behaviors without guilt or shame. I like to think of Plan B One-Step® as my “Plan B” for an “oops” moment. An “oops moment” comes in all shapes and sizes. For one person, it may mean forgetting a pill before an unexpected one-night stand. For someone else, it may mean the condom broke with her husband. There’s no one-size-fits-all for using emergency contraception. Plan B One-Step® helps prevent pregnancy when used as directed and taken within 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex or birth control failure. The sooner it's taken, the better it works.
When I used Plan B One-Step®, I was in a committed relationship. I know “never say never,” but having a baby is not a part of my plan. This is something I’ve known with certainty. My career as a style + travel blogger is my priority, and I am not going to let an accident, like birth control failure, derail my hard work, my plans, or my lifestyle.
I loved my partner at the time very much and maybe did see a future with him, but we also were in no place to have a baby – emotionally or financially. Taking Plan B One-Step® was the responsible thing to do for myself, for my partner, for both of our families and anyone else that could possibly have been affected by an unplanned pregnancy. Getting Plan B One-Step® couldn’t have been easier – I went to my local pharmacy—Plan B One-Step® is available over-the-counter and can usually be found in the family planning aisle at many retail stores without a prescription or ID and there are no age restrictions —and my pharmacist was super discreet and went over the proper instructions for taking the pill. I took it, and went on with my day. It was totally worth it to know that when my plan A did fail, I had a plan B.
So there’s my story, but here is some additional information about Plan B One-Step® to help you learn more:
-According to the Guttmacher Institute, 45 percent of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unintended and 41 percent of those pregnancies are due to inconsistent or incorrect use of contraception.*
-Plan B One-Step® emergency contraception is a backup plan that helps prevent pregnancy when used as directed and taken within 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex or birth control failure. The sooner it's taken, the better it works.
-Plan B One-Step® contains levonorgestrel, the same hormone used in many birth control pills—just at a higher dose. It should not be used as regular birth control, because it is not as effective. Use as directed.
-Plan B One-Step® should be used as directed.
-Plan B One-Step® is not an abortion pill. It will not work if you are already pregnant and will not affect an existing pregnancy. It is not intended for routine use because it is not as effective as regular birth control methods. It does not protect you against HIV/AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
-When used as directed, Plan B One-Step® helps prevent nearly 7 out of every 8 potential pregnancies. Some women may experience side effects, such as a period that is lighter, heavier, early or late; nausea; lower abdominal pain/cramps; tiredness; headache; dizziness; breast tenderness; and vomiting.
If you have any questions about whether you should take Plan B One-Step®, you should ask a healthcare professional. An open and honest dialogue with yourself, your doctor, your partner, and even your friends or family can help you make the appropriate decisions that are best for you when it comes to your sexual health. With this information at your disposal, we’re all now equipped with the best tools to help make the best decisions for ourselves.
I wrote this piece because I once needed Plan B One-Step®, and it’s important to be educated on what it is and when to take it. Learn more about Plan B One-Step® at www.PlanBOneStep.com. Use as directed. I am being compensated for this partner post by Her Campus on behalf of Teva Women’s Health.
*https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/unintended-pregnancy-united-states#1 Sonfield A, Hasstedt K and Gold RB, Moving Forward: Family Planning in the Era of Health Reform, New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2014.