Three Women Share Their Real Experiences With Plan B

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You probably remember the first time you started thinking about sex and all that comes with it, like staying safe and preventing unintended pregnancies. Whether it was from watching movies, having conversations with your parents or taking notes in health class, navigating your sex life and sexual health may have felt complicated. And while it still may feel that way, it’s important to educate yourself so you can be prepared to make informed decisions. This is especially true when it comes to preventing pregnancy and, when you need one, a backup option like Plan B One-Step emergency contraception. 

Depending on where you get your information, navigating between facts and myths when it comes to Plan B can feel like a never-ending game of two truths and a lie. To help weed through the most common misconceptions about this emergency contraceptive, we talked to three women who have their own Plan B stories to tell. 

Pam*

The facts + confidence = I’ve Got This
I grew up in a very conservative, old-fashioned household. So, I always believed that sex was ‘forbidden’ unless you were married. And I was taught to believe that contraceptives for pre-marital sex were frowned upon. Through health education courses, I was introduced to more information about sex and birth control, which helped me form my own opinions. During this time, I also met someone really special. We loved each other very much and made the decision together that we wanted to have sex. 

At the time, I was not on birth control. Afterward, I remember contemplating back and forth about buying Plan B emergency contraception. Part of me was feeling guilty and ashamed because of what might happen if my mom found out I was sexually active and going against her beliefs. But on the other hand, I knew that I was being responsible and that there was nothing wrong with taking emergency contraception when you need it. 
 
For me, taking Plan B for the first time was a pivotal moment. I broke free from all of the preconceived notions and standards that had been set on me about what sex is and how it should be. In that moment I took control of my mind and body. No one told me what to do; I did it for myself. 
 
And now, I am on a regular form of birth control, but since my first experience, I have taken Plan B a few other times after our original contraception plan failed. A few times when I took it, I noticed that my period would come sooner than expected and I would cramp a little bit. But other than that, my body felt completely normal. 
 
I’m so thankful to have access to Plan B emergency contraception and to be able to buy it right off the shelf at my local drug store without a prescription or ID. If I forget to take my birth control pill or a condom breaks, it’s calming to know I have Plan B as a backup.

 

Erika*

The real world needs a real backup plan 
“The first time I took Plan B, I was in high school. The condom broke and I was absolutely terrified. I wasn't on regular birth control yet, and figured that using only a condom would be safe enough, but I was wrong and I had no idea what to do next. 
 
So, I did what any other teenager would do: first, I stress-cried a little bit. And then, I blew up my girlfriends' phones to ask for advice. They all told me to drive to CVS and get Plan B emergency contraception, so I could take it within 72 hours of the condom breaking. I was so nervous buying it and even more nervous about taking it, but after reading more about it, I realized that this was the best decision I could have made.
 
As I got older and continued to be sexually active, I realized that it wasn't so uncommon for accidents to happen in the bedroom, like condoms breaking, or realizing that you didn't take your birth control pills. And, as a busy college student, these things happen. There's so much going on — between classes, tests, and club activities – it's easy to forget a pill, or get caught up in the moment and forget a condom. We’re all human. I’m glad to have Plan B as a backup option to help during those times (btw, always use a condom to protect against STIs!). 
 
Since that first condom broke, I've really educated myself about Plan B and how it works, and have shared what I learned with my friends. And, I've done this not only because I want to save them from the same panic and stress I’ve felt before, but also because I want to create a sex-positive space where we don't have to feel embarrassed about contraception mishaps and just be real with each other. One of the most important things I learned was how Plan B works. It helps prevent pregnancy before it starts by temporarily delaying ovulation when taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex or birth control failure. That’s it – no egg, no fertilization, no pregnancy. 
 
As soon as we can acknowledge that nobody (and no plan A) is perfect and that accidents happen, we can be more confident in what steps we take next!"

 

Allie*

Be proud to utilize your options
"As someone who had to educate themselves on everything sexual health, I discovered Plan B emergency contraception as a backup option when my regular birth control method fell through and I had unprotected sex. I researched online and found out how it works and how to take it – you must take Plan B within 72 hours after unprotected sex, and the sooner you take it, the better it works. I know a lot of my friends were nervous to take Plan B and I know I definitely was, too. After taking it a handful of times when my plan A birth control fell through, I can confidently say it shouldn't be and doesn’t have to be embarrassing. 
 
The first time I used Plan B, I felt uneasy going to a drug store and buying emergency contraception. I know I shouldn’t have been embarrassed but the sales associate was around my age, so I felt insecure. The next time I needed Plan B, I decided to go to a health clinic. At the time, this felt like a safer and more comfortable environment to pick up Plan B, but since learning more about it and talking with my friends, I feel confident purchasing it right off the shelf. 
 
My advice to young women would be to take all the extra precautions you can! Have a consistent plan A birth control, use condoms and educate yourself, but if something unexpected happens, don’t ever be embarrassed about something that’s on the shelves for a reason, Plan B emergency contraception was made for US! Embrace your options, because life happens! Don’t be too hard on yourself." 

 
 

To learn even more about Plan B, visit PlanBOneStep.com. And don’t worry, no need to venture too far if you find yourself in need of a backup. Check your local retailer: Plan B is available for same-day delivery, curbside pickup, and standard shipping Remember, Plan B must be taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex, and works best when used ASAP, so don’t use online ordering for an immediate need. Always read the label.

*Names have been changed.
  
Disclosure: The information in this Article may be useful but does not constitute medical advice. This Article is not used to make diagnoses, prescribe medicine or provide treatment, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with qualified health professionals who are familiar with your individual medical needs. For questions about birth control and other women’s health issues, please talk to your healthcare professional.