Plan B vs Abortion Pill

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Plan B and the Abortion Pill?

White pills scattered on a blue background

Emma scrolled through the months on her period app.  Why hadn’t she noticed last month?   She had been so busy with the Florida trip, then graduation and starting her job, to realize that the box of tampons on her shelf had not been opened since…..well, that is what she had to figure out right now!  Her eyes filled with tears and her hands started to shake as she realized she was over two weeks late!!

A Quick Lesson in Fertility

Each month an egg is released by one of your ovaries, usually about fourteen days after the first day of your last period.  That’s called ovulation.  That egg begins to move through your fallopian tube.  As the egg travels, estrogen thickens the lining of the uterus (called the endometrium), making it a good place for a pregnancy to develop.  If there are sperm present (through sexual intercourse), there is a possibility that the sperm and egg will join together (fertilization).  This is the beginning of a new life and soon that embryo will implant in the lining of the uterus.

How Does Plan B Differ from the Abortion Pill?

Plan B is one type of emergency contraception.  To prevent pregnancy, it should be taken less than 72 hours after sex.  It doesn’t work 100 percent of the time, but it is meant to delay ovulation.  So no release of the egg from the ovary = no fertilization in the fallopian tube.  It should not interfere with a pregnancy that is already implanted in the uterus.

Since it doesn’t always work to prevent pregnancy (especially if you have already ovulated), you should take a pregnancy test if your period doesn’t come within a few weeks.

In Emma’s case, since she is already late for her period there would be no reason to take Plan B.

The Abortion Pill (also called Mifeprex) blocks a hormone called progesterone, which is necessary for a pregnancy to continue.  It is usually used with another medication, Misoprostol, which causes the uterus to contract.  This combination is used to end pregnancies up to ten weeks along.

As with any abortion procedure, there are risks and side effects involved and it is not safe for some women.  A medical provider should be very thorough in evaluating how far along a woman is in her pregnancy, any risk factors, allergies to medication or interactions with current medication, or any genetic health issues that may cause problems.

Emma started looking for the number to the local abortion clinic.  But she is missing some key steps.

Important First Steps

PRC always recommends a pregnancy test and ultrasound to help make an informed decision.

Our pregnancy tests are 99 percent accurate and sensitive enough to detect an early pregnancy. Home pregnancy tests have a margin for error if the instructions are not followed perfectly.

We can also perform an early ultrasound to determine if a pregnancy is viable.  We check if the pregnancy is in the right place, measure for appropriate growth, and look for cardiac activity (a heartbeat).  Many pregnancies do not continue and 80 percent of those miscarriages occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Schedule A Free Appointment

If you are worried you might be pregnant, we are here to help!  We offer free, confidential services to confirm your pregnancy so you can explore all your options with no judgment and get the information you need to help you make your decision.  Schedule your appointment with us today!