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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » Question About Plan B/ Normal BCP

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Author Topic: Question About Plan B/ Normal BCP
wanderlusting
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Hi guys! So, I took Plan B on Monday because I had sex on both Saturday and Sunday morning and forgot to take my pill when I normally do Sunday night. I took it first thing in the morning Monday, when I remembered, and when I went over to the health center to ask, they offered Plan B just in case. I'm not sure if I actually needed it of not, but I forgot to ask them whether or not it's okay to take my normal birth control normally after Plan B- I have been, but I'm wondering if that's the wrong thing to do. Thank you!
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Nope, it's absolutely okay to keep taking your pill, and that's what you should do.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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wanderlusting
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Okay, thanks! Also, did I actually need to take Plan B in this situation? Or would it have been fine without? (I'm still a bit unclear on what is missing/not missing a pill and what's late...)
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Heather
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So, taking one pill late isn't likely to decrease your effectiveness, but it certainly can.

So, I think you could've gone either way with this, and really, if Plan B isn't something that upsets your system a lot, and you have access, and don't want to risk pregnancy, it was a good call.

Personally, if you're asking me, I think the best bet is always to pair hormonal methods with condoms. Not only does that give you and your partner STI and general infection protection hormonal methods can't, then you're covered much more cheaply and easily in situations like this and won't need to race to get Plan B.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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wanderlusting
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Is coupling with witdrawal (which we did) as effective at pregnancy prevention as coupling with condoms? I know it isn't for STI risks, but is pre-ejaculate a huge risk-poser even when actual ejaculate isn't a factor?
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Heather
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So, the effectiveness difference (in one year of use, which is how all methods effectiveness are charted) between condoms and withdrawal is something to take note of.

Condoms are around 98% effective in perfect use, around 85% effective in typical use, both documented via clinical studies.

Withdrawal is estimated to be around 96% effective in perfect use, but only between around 73 - 82% effective in typical use, and that perfect use rate is an estimate, NOT something documented in clinical study of the method.

So, no, it's not as effective. In typical use, it can be much more ineffective. In perfect use, it might be pretty close, but we really can't say for sure yet.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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wanderlusting
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I'm still a bit confused- is that in addition to a hormonal method? Or just alone? I guess I didn't ask, because I wasn't sure how significant it was, but by having missed a pill but ALSO used withdrawal, was Plan B any less necessary? You said I could have gone either way with what I described, but could I have just gone without since I coupled methods?
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Heather
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That's alone. You can look at estimated rates for combined methods -- any of them -- here: The Buddy System: Effectiveness Rates for Backing Up Your Birth Control With a Second Method


For sure, since you did also use withdrawal, especially if you used it properly? Then Plan B likely didn't really have anything to do, and probably didn't have any real risk to mitigate.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Robin Lee
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...and I see Heather already answered you. Consider yourself answered twice.

The statistics Heather quoted are for those methods alone. Using a hormonal method would increase the effectiveness.

In fact, we have done those calculations too:
The Buddy System: Effectiveness Rates for Backing Up Your Birth Control With a Second Method


[ 10-24-2012, 11:52 AM: Message edited by: Robin Lee ]

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Robin

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