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Please select a time earlier than the present.

You have hours remaining to take plan B®.

Please take it as soon as possible because the sooner you take it, the better it works. plan B® can help prevent pregnancy if taken within 72 hours, and preferably within 12 hours, after a contraceptive accident or unprotected sex.

It has been more than 72 hours since you had unprotected sex or a contraceptive accident.

Please contact a healthcare professional for advice.

Back

Accidents happen, we make mistakes, and some things are out of our control. That’s life.

WHAT TO EXPECT

plan B® is effective.* To begin, make sure you’ve read How plan B® works.

For any questions, you can call the plan B® info line at 1‑888‑867‑7426 (Canadian residents only).

Although few women experience vomiting with plan B®, if you vomit within two hours of taking plan B®, you might not have absorbed the medication contained in the pills. Call your healthcare professional, as you might need another dose.

After you’ve taken plan B®, you should get your next period at the expected time, or a few days early or late. Note that you may experience spotting a few days after taking plan B®.

While you’re waiting for your next period, abstain from having intercourse or make sure you use a contraceptive.

If you’ve taken plan B® because of missed birth control pills, ask your pharmacist or doctor about the best way for you to resume taking them. Remember to use another method of contraception, such as condoms, until your birth control is fully reliable again.

If your period is more than a week late, or you haven’t had a period within three weeks of taking plan B®, it is possible that you’re pregnant. Talk to your doctor and have a pregnancy test done.

*plan B is less effective in women weighing 165 lbs (75 kg) or more and not effective in women weighing more than 176 lbs (80 kg). If your weight is 165 lbs (75 kg) or more, ask your healthcare professional for advice on alternative methods of emergency contraception.

Good to know: Tell your doctor if you have taken plan B® within three days of a Pap test, as it may affect your results.

PLAN B® - MORNING-AFTER PILL SIDE EFFECTS

It’s very unlikely that you will have any severe reactions to plan B®. You may have some temporary side effects that will usually pass within 24 hours.

MOST COMMON PLAN B® SIDE EFFECTS

  • Nausea: About 14% to 23% of women
  • Abdominal pain: About 18% of women
  • Fatigue: About 17% of women
  • Headache: About 17% of women
  • Dizziness: About 11% of women
  • Breast tenderness: About 11% of women
  • Vomiting: About 6% of women
  • Diarrhea: About 5% of women
  • Irregular menstrual bleeding: Some women may experience spotting after taking plan B®. The majority of women will have their next menstrual period at the expected time or early. When plan B® is used repeatedly (more than once in a menstrual cycle, or more than occasional once-a-month use), menstrual changes may occur, including a shorter or longer cycle and a heavier or lighter period than normal.

LESS COMMON PLAN B® SIDE EFFECTS

Migraine or severe headache, lower abdominal pain, painful menstruation and vaginal discharge. If the symptoms persist for more than 48 hours or are severe, see your healthcare professional.

UNUSUAL SIDE EFFECTS - CALL A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL IMMEDIATELY

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  • Itching and a rash
  • Sudden or unusual cramps or pain in the stomach or belly
  • Uterine hemorrhage
  • Vaginal hemorrhage
  • Any effects that persist or worsen
  • If you vomit within two hours of taking plan B®, you may need to take another dose

Some medications can interact with plan B® and make it less effective. These include: anticonvulsant drugs (phenytoin, carbamazepine, primidone, phenobarbital), antibiotics (ampicillin, cotrimoxazole, tetracycline, temafloxacin, clarithromycin), rifampicin, rifabutin, griseofulvin and St. John’s wort.

There are some medical conditions that may mean plan B® is not right for you. plan B® is not recommended if:

  • You have a confirmed or suspected pregnancy
  • You are allergic to it, or to any of the components of its formulation
  • You have abnormal vaginal bleeding

For more details, download the abbreviated product monograph (Part III).

AVOID A “NEXT TIME”

The idea here is to not need plan B® again. The best plan is deciding with your doctor which long-term method of contraception is right for you.

Contraceptive chart

Oral Contraceptives
Description

Estrogen and progestin pills that come in packs of 21, 28 or extended cycle packs of 91 pills.

Progestin-only pills are also available.

Advantages

Highly effective, reliable and reversible.

Non-contraceptive benefits: more regular periods, decreased menstrual cramping, less acne and hirsutism.

Disadvantages

Remembering to take them regularly.

Possible side effects: irregular bleeding/spotting, nausea, bloating, breast tenderness, and headaches.

May increase blood clots.

Do not protect against STIs.

Availability
Prescription
Gender
Female contraceptive
Condoms
Description

Female condoms: can be used by those allergic to latex. It is a polyurethane pouch coated with nonspermicidal lubricant. The closed end is inserted into the vagina and covers the cervix.

Male condoms: are made of lambskin, latex or polyurethane and fit over the erect penis.

Advantages

Lack of side effects.

Ease of use.

Use only when needed.

Effective when used correctly.

Provide considerable protection against the transmission of STIs including HIV.

Disadvantages

May break if used incorrectly.

Need to be applied before each act of intercourse.

If allergic to latex, may cause irritation in the vagina or on the penis.

May reduce sensitivity during intercourse.

Availability
On shelf at the pharmacy
Gender
Male and female contraceptive
Sterilization
Description

Women: surgical procedure to permanently block the fallopian tubes.

Men: surgical procedure to block the tubes that carry sperm to the penis.

Advantages
Permanent and does not interfere with intercourse.
Disadvantages

Difficult to reverse.

Short-term side effects after surgery.

Does not protect against STIs.

Availability
Clinic/hospital
Gender
Male and female contraceptive
Family planning
Description

Women:

Calendar method: a woman keeps track of her most likely fertile days within a given cycle and abstains from intercourse during those days.

Basal body temperature: a woman takes her temperature when her body is at rest to determine if she is ovulating and takes precautions during that time.

Cervical mucus: a woman checks her cervical mucus for the presence of a clear, thin, stretchable substance, which indicates the fertile period.

Fertility monitors: help women determine their most fertile/infertile days for the means of contraception.

Men:

Coitus interruptus: withdrawing the penis from the vagina before ejaculation.

Advantages

Women get to know their bodies and cycles.

Allows the man to actively participate in the control of conception.

Does not involve any medication.

Disadvantages

Men may not withdraw the penis in time.

Does not protect against STIs.

Requires willpower and motivation.

Reduces spontaneity.

High failure rate compared to other methods of contraception.

Availability
At home
Gender
Male and female contraceptive
Injectables
Description
An injection containing a hormone given to women 4 times per year.
Advantages

Effective and reversible.

Does not contain estrogen.

Fewer adherence issues since given every 12 to 13 weeks.

Disadvantages

Side effects: menstrual cycle disturbances, weight changes, mood effects.

May be a delay in return of fertility for about 9 months.

Availability
Clinic/hospital
Gender
Female contraceptive
IUD/IUS
Description

Intrauterine device (IUD): T-shaped device containing copper that’s inserted inside the uterus.

Intrauterine system (IUS): T-shaped device releasing a hormone over time that’s inserted inside the uterus.

Advantages

Highly effective for up to 5 years.

Reversible method.

Easy adherence.

Suited for those who want long-term birth control.

Does not interfere with intercourse.

Does not contain estrogen.

Disadvantages

Side effects: bleeding irregularities, pain, dysmenorrhea, hormonal side effects and functional cysts.

Risks with insertion like perforation, expulsion and infection.

Does not protect against STIs.

Availability
Clinic/hospital
Gender
Female contraceptive
Transdermal patch
Description
A patch placed on the skin and releases hormones absorbed through the skin.
Advantages

Effective and reversible.

Once-a week dosing may help with adherence.

Regulates menstrual cycle and reduces cramps.

Does not interfere with sex.

Disadvantages

Side effects such as breast symptoms and headaches.

Local reactions at the application site.

Patch detachment is uncommon, but may occur.

Does not protect against STIs.

Availability
Prescription
Gender
Female contraceptive
Vaginal ring
Description
A flexible ring (54 mm) that’s inserted into the vagina. It releases hormones that are absorbed through the vagina.
Advantages

Reliable and reversible.

Once-monthly dosing may help with adherence.

Regulates menstrual cycles.

Does not interfere with sex.

Disadvantages

Hormonal side effects, vaginitis, leukorrhea and vaginal discomfort may occur.

Does not protect against STIs.

Availability
Prescription
Gender
Female contraceptive
Diaphragm
Description
A dome that fits over the cervix to stop sperm from reaching the uterus.
Advantages

It can be inserted several hours before intercourse.

It can be left in for up to 24 hours.

Disadvantages

Does not protect against STIs.

You need to be fitted for a diaphragm by a trained professional.

Availability
Prescription
Gender
Female contraceptive
Cervical cap
Description
A dome-shaped device that fits snugly over the cervix and blocks the passage of sperm. It is used in conjunction with spermicide.
Advantages

Small and easy to carry.

It can be left in place for up to 48 hours, allowing spontaneous protected sex.

Less spermicide is required than with the diaphragm and the cap is smaller and even less noticeable to the partner.

Disadvantages

Not suitable for every woman.

More difficult to insert than a diaphragm and can be dislodged from the cervix during intercourse.

Does not protect against STIs or HIV transmission and may increase the risk of toxic shock syndrome.

Availability
Prescription
Gender
Female contraceptive

plan B® is indicated for emergency situations, and it should never replace a good long-term contraceptive plan. Please note that if plan B® is used on more than one occasion, the cumulative pregnancy rate will be higher.

COMMON CONTRACEPTIVE ACCIDENTS

Most sexually active women usually like to use some type of protection against pregnancy. Until recently, one of the most popular forms of contraception was the condom. But it has not been proven to be 100% effective in preventing pregnancy since the condom can be put on incorrectly, slip off during intercourse, or even tear.

The introduction of hormonal contraceptive methods changed the way we use contraception. These include oral contraceptive pills, contraceptive patches and contraceptive rings.

Contraceptive pills, which consist of synthetic female hormones, are proven to be effective in preventing unplanned pregnancy, if taken correctly. But missed birth control pills or starting a pack late can contribute to decreased birth control effectiveness and contraception failure. The same applies for the contraceptive patch and ring; incorrect use can lead to an unplanned pregnancy.

If you are using a diaphragm or cervical cap as birth control methods, you may accidently remove them too early or they might get dislodged during sexual intercourse.

These types of contraceptive accidents are common and have made way for morning-after pills such as plan B®, a simple emergency contraceptive pill.

LEARN MORE ABOUT CONTRACEPTION AND SEXUAL HEALTH

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When it comes to sex, knowledge is power. The more you know about contraception and sexual health, the more you can enjoy it.

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