Plan B and the abortion pill are sometimes confused as one and the same; however, there’s an essential difference that sets these two medications apart. If you think you might be facing an unplanned pregnancy, it’s important you take time to understand the differences between Plan B and the abortion pill.

What is the difference between Plan B and the abortion pill?

While both medications are related to unwanted pregnancies, Plan B merely prevents a pregnancy from occurring, while the pill terminates a pregnancy that has already begun to grow and develop.

To truly understand the difference, it’s important to learn how each medication works and the risks and side effects related to each:

What is Plan B?

Plan B (or “the morning-after pill”) is an over-the-counter medication that prevents pregnancy and can be taken up to 72 hours after having unprotected sex.

How does Plan B prevent pregnancy?

Plan B can prevent pregnancy through several different steps depending on when you take the pill.

First, it will stop ovulation from occurring so an egg isn’t released. If the egg has been released, the pill will prevent the egg from being fertilized by the sperm. If fertilization has already taken place, the uterine lining will be temporarily altered to keep the fertilized egg from implanting.

Will I experience side effects from taking Plan B?

It is possible you may experience some of the following side effects after taking Plan B:

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Dizziness

What is the abortion pill?

The pill is a two-pill process that terminates a pregnancy in the first 10 weeks of gestation. Compared to surgical abortion, the use of invasive instruments is typically not required.

How does the abortion pill terminate a pregnancy?

The abortion pill uses two medications, Mifepristone and Misoprostol, to end a pregnancy. Mifepristone is first taken to cease the body’s natural production of progesterone. Progesterone is necessary for a pregnancy to grow and develop, and without this hormone, the pregnancy will end.

Once the pregnancy has ended, Misoprostol will cause the body to expel the pregnancy tissue in the form of large blood clots through a process of contractions.

Will I experience side effects from taking the abortion pill?

You will likely experience some of the following side effects when undergoing a medical abortion: 

  • Heavy bleeding
  • Exhaustion
  • Nausea 
  • Fever and chills
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea
  • DizzinessWoman walking wondering about Plan B vs. The Abortion Pill

Unlike Plan B, the abortion pill is also associated with the following severe health risks

  • Incomplete abortion, requiring emergency surgery
  • Sepsis
  • Infection
  • Hemorrhaging 

The risks related to the abortion pill require immediate care and medical attention. Unfortunately, the pill is most often administered at home, leaving women alone and without medical supervision in the case of complications.

What should I do before I take the abortion pill?

If you’re considering taking the abortion pill, we recommend scheduling an ultrasound scan to identify any existing health concerns that may cause complications related to the pill.

The Hope Clinic is here to help! We offer pregnancy testing, ultrasound scans, STD testing, and more free of charge! 

Visit us today to learn more about your pregnancy options and the resources available to you!

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