Open Arms Blog

The Difference Between Plan B and Plan C

The morning-after pill, the abortion pill, Plan B, Plan C, emergency contraception°it is all very confusing. According to the Mayo Clinic, abortion is a "major decision with emotional and psychological consequences." If abortion is what you are considering for your unexpected pregnancy, you need to know the differences and risks between Plan B and Plan C.
The Difference Between Plan B and Plan C

If you have questions and want to learn more about all of your options, give Open Arms a call. We will be happy to talk with you.

Plan B

Plan B is known as the "morning-after pill." It is taken after sex, but before conception. Depending on where a woman is in her cycle, conception can occur anywhere from a few minutes up to 5 days after unprotected sex. If fertilization has already happened and the egg has implanted, the Mayo Clinic indicates Plan B will not end a pregnancy that has implanted.

What are the side effects of Plan B?

  • Increased bleeding and cramping as you expel the pregnancy
  • Headache and possible dizziness
  • Breast tenderness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • A delay in your cycle and a change in your menstrual flow
  • The risk of an incomplete abortion

NOTE: Emergency contraception should not be used as a routine birth control method. Plan B is a 50x dose of the progesterone-only oral birth control pill that is designed for daily use. Although studies are continuing, in a Pharmacology Review by the FDA, a higher dose of levonorgestrel "might have the potential for masculinization of female fetuses exposed in utero." 

Plan C 

Plan C is known as a "self-induced abortion." It involves ordering the abortion pill (medication abortion) online and performing the abortion at home. Unfortunately, because they are not government regulated, some of the online sites are not legitimate drug providers. The FDA offers a warning for purchasing the pills online. No matter how authentic the pills may appear, a woman cannot determine the quality, the dosage or the effectiveness of the drug.

Self Magazine cites a number of reasons why a "self-managed abortion" is risky. They write, "you carry the risk of not being totally sure what you're actually taking if you obtain medication from an unverified source, and whatever is in that medication could carry additional unknown risks. And if complications arise, the solution is the same as after a clinic-induced medication abortion: you would need to go to the emergency room." 

What are the side effects of Plan C?

The known symptoms of a self-induced abortion are the same as a medication abortion.

  • Adverse side effects from unknown drugs
  • Severe cramping
  • Headache and possible dizziness      
  • Tender breasts
  •  Nausea & vomiting  
  • Fatigue
  •  A delay in your cycle and a change in your menstrual flow (usually heavier)
  • No FDA oversight to make sure the drugs are legitimate and the manufacturing is safe
  • The risk of an incomplete abortion requiring a surgical abortion

What is the difference between Plan B and Plan C?

Plan B is considered emergency contraception while Plan C is an abortion procedure.
Plan C is designed to have little to no doctor oversight. As a result, the possibility of taking ineffective or dangerous drugs is very real. Both have the same risks in terms of side effects if the drugs are manufactured the same, but since the country of origin for online drugs is not always known, you have no guarantee of their quality.

What You Should Do

The Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic is here to help you make an informed decision. Talk with us first about such things as the first day of your last menstrual cycle, when you ovulated, or if the drugs you take are safe. Schedule your appointment for a clinical pregnancy test and a limited OB ultrasound to confirm whether or not your pregnancy is viable. We offer both completely free of charge. We can help you know for sure and chat with you about all of your options. We truly care about you. Let us help.
Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash

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