Birth Control- Is Plan B needed?


Q: I did not take birth control for a week after my last period and was on my pill for three days when our other contraception broke. I doubled the pill the next morning. I have been on birth control for four years. Should I be worried and take a Plan B?

Symptoms:  Period should start in two weeks

A:   Birth control pills effectively protect from unwanted pregnancies only when they are taken in recommended cycles. Usually they are started on day one or five of the menses and continued once daily without any gap. This way, the alter the blood levels of some key hormones in the body and prevent ovulation or egg release. A delayed start may not guarantee such protective effect, and may not protect you from getting pregnant. The chance of getting pregnant is maximum in one's "Fertile Period". The fertile period of a woman is determined by analyzing her menstrual cycle with an ovulation calculator or fertility chart. Normally, the menstrual cycle is a 28 day cycle. During the 14th day after a period, the ovum is released. This process is called ovulation and the days 12 to 16 days after a period are said to be a woman’s most fertile period. Plan B is a type of emergency contraception. An emergency pill or ECP is a birth control pill that can prevent pregnancy after an unprotected intercourse. People sometimes call it the "morning after pill." But you don't have to wait until the morning after sex to take it. In fact, Plan B is more effective the sooner you take it. It is a one-dose regimen: you take one pill. The pill contains 1.5 milligrams of levonorgestrel, which is used in lower doses in many birth control pills. When taken beyond the recommended 72 hour window, Plan B loses its effect. Please consult your physician immediately for a detailed interview and investigations, if required.

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