The Plan B pill works best when you take it within 3 days after unprotected sex. You can get Plan B at your local drugstore or pharmacy.
How effective is Plan B One-Step and other levonorgestrel morning-after pills?
A levonorgestrel morning-after pill like Plan B One Step, Take Action, My Way, and AfterPill can lower your chance of getting pregnant by 75-89% if you take it within 3 days after unprotected sex.
You can take Plan B, My Way, and other levonorgestrel morning-after pills up to 5 days after unprotected sex. But the longer you wait to take it, the less effective it is.
These types of morning-after pills are also less effective if you have a higher BMI. If that’s the case, the copper IUD or ella are better options for you. Our handy quiz can help you figure out which EC is best for you.
Though there are many different brands of levonorgestrel morning-after pills, they all work the same way. One brand isn’t any more effective than another.
How do Plan B and other levonorgestrel morning-after pills work?
Take levonorgestrel morning-after pills (like Plan B One-Step, Take Action, My Way, and AfterPill) as soon as you can after unprotected sex. Simply swallow the tablet the way you would any other pill. Read the instructions that come in the package for more information.
You can take these morning-after pills up to 5 days after unprotected sex, but they work much better if you take them during the first 3 days.
Take a pregnancy test if you haven’t gotten your period within 3 weeks after taking the morning-after pill.
Don’t take Plan B One-Step or other levonorgestrel morning-after pills if you’ve taken ella since your last period. And don’t take more than 1 dose of any kind of morning-after pill — it won’t give you extra protection from pregnancy, but it can make you feel nauseous.
Does the Plan B morning-after pill have side effects?
The morning-after pill is super safe, and Plan B side effects aren’t super common. There have been no reports of serious problems out of the millions of people who’ve taken it.
After you take the morning-after pill, it's totally normal for your next period to be different from what you’re used to. It may come earlier or later, and be heavier, lighter, or more spotty. Or it may be the same as it normally is.
You may get an upset stomach, feel lightheaded or dizzy, or have tender breasts for a short while when you take the morning-after pill. If you throw up within 2 hours of taking the pill, it won't work and you’ll need to take it again.
Where can I get the Plan B morning-after pill?
You can buy levonorgestrel morning-after pills (like Plan B One-Step, Take Action, and My Way) over the counter without a prescription at drugstores and pharmacies. It doesn’t matter how old you are and it doesn’t matter what your gender is. Sometimes the morning-after pill is locked up or kept behind the counter, so you may have to ask the pharmacist or store clerk for help getting it — but you don’t have to have a prescription or show your ID.
You can also get the morning-after pill at many family planning or health department clinics, and Planned Parenthood health centers.
Plan B One-Step usually costs about $40-$50. Take Action and My Way generally cost less — about $15-$45. You can also order a generic brand called AfterPill online for $20 + $5 shipping. (AfterPill can’t be shipped quick enough to use if you need a morning-after pill right now, but you can buy it and put it in your medicine cabinet in case you need it in the future.)
The brand of EC you buy or how much you pay for it doesn’t matter — all levonorgestrel morning-after pills work the same way.
Some health insurance plans cover the morning-after pill, but you may need a prescription in order for your insurance plan to pay for it.
You may be able to get the morning-after pill for free or low cost from a Planned Parenthood health center or your local health department. Call your nearest Planned Parenthood to see if they can hook you up with emergency contraception that fits your budget. The staff at your local Planned Parenthood health center can also help you figure out if your health insurance will pay for your morning-after pill.
Since the morning-after pill works better the sooner you take it, it’s a good idea to buy it BEFORE you need it. You can keep it in your medicine cabinet and it will be there for you, just in case. That way you can take it as soon as possible if an accident happens, and you won’t have to worry about finding it at the store when you’re totally stressed out.