While you may be thankful for emergency contraception like Plan B, you may also be wondering if Plan B can make you infertile.
Fertility options help us all, but only if we understand when to use them, how they work, and more importantly, how they don’t work.
In this article, we’ll cover how Plan B works and how it affects your future fertility.
Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals, and the advice we offer is not medically certified. You should always talk with your doctor for professional medical help.
Can Plan B Make You Infertile?
Plan B is a temporary and emergency contraceptive that is used to preventpregnancy after a contraception failure or unprotected sex. It has no long-term effects on your fertility and does not cause future infertility.
It is meant to be fast-acting and temporary, rather than a routine method of birth control. When used properly, it is an effective method for preventing pregnancy after unprotected intercourse and has no effect on future fertility.
About Plan B and Infertility
Plan B is an emergency contraceptive pill that is available as one dose of levonorgestrel. This synthetic form of the hormone progestin is taken to prevent a potential pregnancy within 72 hours, or 3 days, after unprotected sex.
How Does Plan B Work?
Plan B works by delaying or temporarily stopping ovulation so that fertilization does not take place.
Ovulation is controlled by hormone releases and Plan B contains one large dose of levonorgestrel, an ingredient commonly found in hormonal birth control pills. When taking within 72 hours of ejaculatory sex, this large hormone influx works to stop or delay the release of an egg from the ovary and thereby prevent fertilization.
It also changes the uterine lining to prevent a fertilized egg from attaching and turning into a pregnancy. There is no evidence to support that Plan B can cause infertility, as emergency contraception leaves the body within days and does not affect future fertility.
How Often Can You Take Plan B?
Emergency contraception has no long-term harmful effects and you can take it multiple times. You may experience some of the unpleasant side effects in the short term, but there are no enduring effects.
If you’re wondering “Can taking Plan B make you infertile,” or “Can taking too much Plan B make you infertile,” the answer to those questions is no.
There are experts who agree that there are no long-term effects on future fertility from taking emergency contraception. However, if you find yourself relying on emergency contraception like Plan B too often, it might be best to speak to your doctor about a more reliable form of contraception.
Emergency contraception like Plan B is safe and effective but not an ongoing solution to prevent pregnancy.
Plan B and Infertility/Fertility FAQ
It’s natural to have more questions about Plan B and whether it affects your fertility. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Plan B and infertility/fertility.
Does Plan B Affect Future Ovulation?
Since Plan B has no long-term effects on your menstrual cycle, it does not affect future ovulation. For most people, they will get their next period when expected and their cycle will continue as normal.
Does Plan B Affect Your Hormones?
Plan B contains the same type of hormone used in some oral contraceptives, albeit in a single, higher dose. This causes a change in hormone levels since the dose is approximately three times more than a regular birth control pill. The concentrated dose may cause some side effects but they should not be extreme or severe.
Can Plan B Affect a Pregnancy Test?
Pregnancy tests measure the hormone HCG that is not chemically related to the ingredients of Plan B therefore there is no reason Plan B could affect a pregnancy test. But the real-world answer is, “it depends.”
There’s a reason why you have to wait two weeks to take a pregnancy test since testing too early can lead to a false-negative result. If you don’t get your next period or are experiencing pregnancy symptoms, you should take a pregnancy test.
Plan B is more effective the sooner you take it but if fertilization and implantation have already occurred, Plan B will not work and the pregnancy will proceed.