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What Is The Difference Between Plan B And The Abortion Pill

The abortion pill and Plan B are often mistaken for the same thing. While both are pills, they are unique in how they react within your body. 

For sexually active women, it’s important to understand the difference between these two drugs as neither protects from STDs nor is a failproof method of pregnancy prevention. 

We’ve compiled the facts and everything you should know about these two drugs to safeguard your health and wellness. 

What Is Plan B?

Plan B is an emergency contraceptive, meaning its purpose is to prevent a pregnancy in women who have unprotected sex. Commonly known as the Morning After Pill, Plan B works by delaying or preventing ovulation and should be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex. If taken too late, Plan B will not terminate an established pregnancy. 

Women should not use Plan B as their primary method of birth control. Like all drugs, Plan B has risks and side effects women should be aware of before taking. Side effects can include: 

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Breast tenderness
  • Bleeding between periods or heavier menstrual bleeding
  • Lower abdominal pain or cramps

Plan B is typically available without a prescription, but this may vary for pharmacies across the U.S.

What Is The Abortion Pill?

The abortion pill is designed to terminate a pregnancy. However, it is only effective within the first 10 weeks of gestation. Broken into two parts, the abortion pill combines the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol. 

Mifepristone works by blocking the hormone progesterone and causes the uterus to thin, preventing implantation. The following dose of misoprostol causes the uterus to contract in order to expel the pregnancy. 

While there has been some debate on its availability in the wake of removing Roe v. Wade, the abortion pill should only be prescribed by a licensed medical professional who can follow your progress and asses you for risks after you’ve taken the pill. 

Risks and side effects of the abortion pill include: 

  • Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
  • An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn't work
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

Prioritizing Wellness

Our staff at Hope Clinic For Women prioritizes women’s health and overall wellness. Our clinic provides fast and effective pregnancy tests and many other servic

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Hope Clinic for Women is a nonprofit organization committed to provide safe, confidential, supportive medical care that promotes sexual health and wellbeing. In 2022 HCW hosted 827 client visits where young moms and dads received over 3,380 free services. We welcomed 27 babies who were born to moms in our programs. These clients benefited from one on one time with trained, caring volunteers who listened, learned and shared valuable education resources, physical resources, referrals and spiritual encouragement.