young woman taking a pill

If you think you might be facing an unplanned pregnancy, you may be asking yourself this common question: what is the difference between Plan B and the abortion pill?

There are a few important differences between Plan B and the Abortion Pill that you need to understand when it comes to these medications and we’re here to help break them down for you!

What is Plan B and how does it work?

Also called “the morning-after pill,” Plan B is a medication that can be used to prevent pregnancy after having unprotected sex. It’s important to note that while Plan B is meant to prevent pregnancy, it does not end a pregnancy that has already begun in the way that the abortion pill does.

Plan B uses a three-tiered approach to preventing pregnancy. First, the medication prevents the body from ovulating so an egg is not released. If the medication doesn’t prevent ovulation, it will attempt to prevent the released egg from being fertilized by the sperm. If the first two steps fail, the medication will then work to alter the lining of the uterus so that the fertilized egg cannot implant, which will keep the egg from developing into a pregnancy.

Plan B can be used within 72 hours of having unprotected sex.

Does Plan B have any side effects?

According to the FDA, the side effects attributed to Plan B may include heavy bleeding, abdominal pain, nausea, tiredness, headaches, and dizziness.

What is the abortion pill and how does it work to end a pregnancy?

Also referred to as medical abortion or chemical abortion, the abortion pill is one way of ending an unwanted pregnancy. Unlike Plan B, the abortion pill is used to terminate a pregnancy that has already begun to develop.

The process of medical abortions requires two medications, Mifepristone and Misoprostol.

Mifepristone is administered first and will end the pregnancy by ceasing the body’s production of progesterone. Because progesterone is necessary in order for a healthy pregnancy to develop, the pregnancy will not be able to survive without it. Once the pregnancy has ended, Misoprostol will cause the body to contract and expel the pregnancy tissue from the uterus.

The abortion pill or medical abortion must be administered by a licensed clinic or physician and can not be purchased from a drug store or obtained through a prescription or reseller

Does the abortion pill have side effects?

Yes. The abortion pill will be accompanied by intense cramping and bleeding as the pregnancy tissue is expelled from the uterus in the form of blood clots. Additional side effects may include exhaustion, nausea, fever and chills, vomiting, headaches, diarrhea, and dizziness.

The abortion pill has also been associated with more extreme health risks, including sepsis, infection, and hemorrhage. These risks can lead to long-term health conditions and can even be fatal.

How can I avoid risks and side effects related to the abortion pill?

Before taking the abortion pill, we recommend receiving pre-abortion screenings, including lab-quality pregnancy testing, ultrasound scans, STD testing, and education on all of your pregnancy options.

Alabama Pregnancy Test Center provides all of the necessary pre-abortion screenings at no cost to you! Our staff is here to help you understand your unique health conditions, learn about the risks you might face during a medical abortion, and gather information on the options and resources available to you during this time.

Schedule your free appointment today!