Plan B Side Effects: Headaches, Bleeding, Breast Tenderness

Plan B Side Effects. Emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs), also known as “morning after pills” or “day after pills”, are safe for just about all women, health experts in the United States say.

These emergency pills, used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex, have no long-term or serious side effects, the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) and the Office of Population Research (OPR) at the Princeton University said in a recent post in the independent website http://ec.princeton.edu/index.html.

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Information on the site, run by both ARHP and Princeton’s OPR, is peer reviewed by a panel of independent experts and produced without the influence of the pharmaceutical industry or any profit organization.

The pills have never been linked to deaths or serious complications, the U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use also said after a recent review. The U.S. MEC is a group created by the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control Protection (CDC) following guidance from the World Health Organization.

“There is absolutely no situation in which the risks of using combined or progestin‐only ECPs outweigh their benefits,” the U.S. MEC said. The group has yet to review ECPs with ulipristal acetate as the active ingredient.

The U.S. MEC specifically noted that women who have suffered previous ectopic pregnancies, migraines and liver disease—and even cardiovascular diseases—can safely use emergency pills. The pills are also safe for breastfeeding women.

Combination ECPs are made from the same hormones used in regular birth control pills that are have been proven to put women at a higher risk for blood clots. But the emergency pills are safe because they are used for “a very short duration” and “have low total hormone content,” the U.S. MEC said.

Contrary to a widespread myth that morning-after pills contain high doses of hormones and are dangerous, the ECPs made of either progestogen or ulipristal acetate are very safe to use, ARHP and Princeton’s OPR said.

“In general, both progestin-only pills like Plan B One-Step, Plan B and Next Choice and ulipristal acetate emergency contraceptive pills like ella have fewer side effects than combined emergency contraceptive pills that contain both estrogen and progestin just like regular birth control pills,” the groups said.

More Plan B Side Effects after the jump.