Can You Take Plan B While on Birth Control? Exploring Safety, Efficacy, and Considerations

Dinesh Patel
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Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
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can you take plan b while on birth control

Plan B is, commonly known as the “morning-after” pill, is an emergency contraception option that individuals can consider in certain situations to prevent pregnancy. 

It contains the hormone Levonorgestrel, a synthetic version of Progesterone.

While Plan B can be a useful backup in cases of skipped doses or contraceptive failure, it’s important to understand how it interacts with regular birth control methods. 

This article aims to explore “Can you take Plan B while on birth control” and the potential implications of doing so.

Using Plan B in conjunction with birth control

Plan B is generally considered safe to take while on birth control. 

It does not interfere with the effectiveness of ongoing birth control methods.

Individuals must continue their regular birth control regimen unless otherwise advised by a healthcare professional. 

The Plan B pill usually contains higher hormone doses than regular birth control pills, and combining the two may lead to some side effects. 

However, these side effects are generally temporary.

Taking Plan B while on birth control may cause some changes in the menstrual cycle. The next period may be earlier or later than expected, and the flow or associated symptoms may vary.

Who can take Plan B

Woman holding birth control pillsSource: towfiqu_ahamed_barbhuiya
Woman holding pills

Plan B is suitable for anyone who has had unprotected sex, misses a birth control pill, or experiences a contraceptive failure (e.g., a condom breaking).

Taking Plan B can provide an additional layer of protection. 

There are no age restrictions, and the pill is available without a prescription. 

However, individuals who are already pregnant, allergic to Levonorgestrel, or trying to substitute it for routine contraception should avoid taking Plan B.

Recommended Article
There are many forms of contraception available. 
To know which is most effective, read Choosing the Right Contraceptive: Levonorgestrel vs Norethindrone.

What to expect after taking Plan B

After taking Plan B, individuals may experience side effects such as breast tenderness, dizziness, headache, irregular bleeding, nausea, and vomiting. 

These side effects are typically most pronounced in the first 1–2 days and tend to subside afterward. 

It’s essential to recognize that Plan B does not protect against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

You should avoid taking Plan B if you are taking medication for seizures, TB, or HIV/ AIDS. These medications will make Plan B less effective. 


While taking Plan B, you should consider certain things. 

Effectiveness of Plan B

Plan B is effective if taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex and within 72 hours. 

The efficacy decreases with time, highlighting the importance of prompt use.

Not a regular form of contraception

While Plan B can be a helpful backup, it is not intended for regular use as a primary form of contraception. 

Consistent and correct use of daily birth control methods is the most reliable way to prevent unintended pregnancies.


The use of Plan B alongside ongoing birth control is generally safe, especially in instances of contraceptive failure or unprotected intercourse. 

It’s essential to maintain a regular birth control regimen unless advised otherwise by a healthcare professional.

While Plan B does not typically interfere with the effectiveness of routine birth control methods, combining the two may result in temporary side effects.

Plan B serves as an emergency option and is suitable for various situations, such as missed birth control pills, condom breakage, or unprotected sex.

Its efficacy diminishes with time after unprotected intercourse, underscoring the importance of timely use within 72 hours.

It’s crucial to note that Plan B should not replace regular contraception methods. While Plan B is a valuable backup, it is not intended for frequent or routine use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I take Plan B if I am on birth control?

If you’ve been consistently taking your birth control as directed, it’s usually unnecessary to take Plan B. It can be taken if you’ve missed several doses or experienced a failure with your regular birth control method. However, you should consult a healthcare professional if you have any doubts or concerns.

When does Plan B not work?

Plan B is effective when taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure, but its effectiveness decreases over time. It may not be as effective if taken more than 72 hours after unprotected intercourse. Additionally, it does not work if you are already pregnant. 

Does Plan B protect against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)?

No, Plan B does not protect against STIs. Plan B, also known as the morning-after pill or emergency contraception, is designed to help prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. However, it does not provide any protection against Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Is taking two birth control the same as Plan B?

No, taking two birth control pills is not equivalent to using Plan B. Birth control pills are designed to be taken daily. At the same time, Plan B is a high dose of Levonorgestrel intended for emergency use. Taking extra birth control pills may not be as effective as using Plan B after unprotected intercourse.

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