Do cheaper morning-after pills work as well as brand name pills?
Someone asked us:
I was at the drugstore and I saw that they had a few different brands of plan b. Some of them were cheaper than others so like, do they all work the same or are more expensive ones stronger?
Short answer: all morning-after pill brands that you can buy without a prescription work the same, regardless of price. It doesn’t matter if you get it at a pharmacy, convenience store, health center, or a reliable online drugstore. Get yo bargain on!
Like most medicines, there are different brands of morning-after pills. They may be different prices, but they all have the same active ingredients and have the same effectiveness.
In the U.S., all over-the-counter morning-after pills use 1.5mg of levonorgestrel to prevent pregnancy. Levonorgestrel is a type of progestin, the same kind of hormone that’s in all hormonal birth control, like the IUD, pill, and shot.
Some brands of levonorgestrel morning-after pills that are sold in the U.S. include:
Plan B One-Step
Next Choice One Dose
AfterPill (only available online)
Less expensive brands are often called “generics.” The FDA requires generic medications to have the same active ingredient, strength, dosage, quality, and effectiveness as name brands. So why can they cost less if they work the same? Because the companies making generics don’t usually pay for advertising, and they don’t have to run the expensive clinical trials that the original brand needed to do to get FDA approval for that kind of drug.
You can always double-check with the pharmacist if you’re concerned about buying the right pill. But as long as it says “levonorgestrel 1.5mg” somewhere on the package, feel free to buy the cheapest morning-after pill on the shelf — it will work exactly the same as more expensive brands.
Back in August, SumOfUs & bpas helped push Boots to follow other UK retailers in reducing the price of emergency contraception. It pledged to roll out the lower price across all its stores in October. It hasn’t.
Just to put it into context, Boots is the UK number one most accessible high street drug store and the price for the morning after pill is being sold at 5 times the price of what it is on the continent because of ‘complaints’. Some might say that if the price is an issue we could simply go and shop cheaper elsewhere. The fact is, for many of us, Boots is so dominant in the UK that there’s a chance that we don’t have a choice. There might not be an elsewhere within three, four towns.
Boots have decided to put out the moralising argument that they would not want to ‘incentivise inappropriate use’ by making it cheaper. I think the statement is more of a cover for the fact that Boots doesn’t want to risk losing customers who disapprove of its products, so the price is there as an reassurance to those who take issue with the pill, to which, when complaints arise, they can simply point out the price and say, ‘Yes, Mr Sexist Dinosaur and Mrs Well-meaning Every Egg and Sperm is Sacred, we’re making it as difficult for women who don’t want to and/or cannot afford to get pregnant to access emergency medicine as possible, so please keep buying our No 7 range of facial care products and sign up for a discounted eye check’.
Business before female autonomy, as per usual. (22/07/2017)
Note: If you’re a trans guy who takes hormones, you should talk with your doctor and see what they recommend when it comes to taking emergency contraception. Unfortunately, right now there isn’t enough research that tells us how hormonal EC will affect you, so your best choice may be the non-hormonal ParaGard IUD.
can taking the morning after pill (“plan b”) too many times make you infertile, or less able to easily conceive? i had never heard this until some friends said so recently, and it is horrifying me!
No way — you have nothing to fear. Taking the morning after pill (aka emergency contraception) will not make you less fertile in the long run. Emergency contraception prevents pregnancy after one act of unprotected sex. Period.
BUT, if you find yourself taking Plan B frequently, it might be time to get a new plan A. Save yourself some stress and talk to your doctor or nurse about hassle-free birth control methods that might work well for you — like the IUD or implant. Using birth control is your best bet if you want to prevent pregnancy — it’s more effective, costs less over time than Plan B if you use insurance, and (just like emergency contraception) won’t make you infertile after you stop using it.
Again, if it’s an urgent situation you can totally rely on emergency contraception without worry. If you hear your friends spreading misinformation about emergency contraception, be a sexual health superstar and get them the facts.
Can I use the morning-after pill for more pregnancy protection if I’m already using the birth control pill?
Someone asked us:
Would taking the morning after pill provide more protection if I’m on birth control (gildess)?
As long as you’re taking your birth control pills every day as directed, you don’t need to use the morning-after pill (AKA emergency contraception). Regular birth control pills are actually much better at preventing pregnancy than emergency contraception pills, and using them both at the same time won’t do anything extra. If you want even more protection from pregnancy, use condoms along with the pill. Plus, condoms will help prevent STDs.
However, you can definitely use the morning-after pill if you miss a few of your regular birth control pills and have unprotected sex. This only applies to the birth control pills with hormones in them — if you miss any of the placebo (non-hormonal) pills, you’re still protected from pregnancy and don’t need the morning-after pill.
If you DO miss some of your birth control pills and need to use emergency contraception, you can use the Plan B morning-after pill (or other Plan B generics, like Next Choice, MyWay, AfterPill, and Take Action) to help prevent pregnancy. You can get these types of emergency contraception at a drugstore, without a prescription. They work better the sooner you take them.
The bottom line is: if you use your birth control pills correctly, you don’t need to take the morning-after pill. Using condoms + the pill is the best way to double your pregnancy prevention.
You can marry whoever you want You can take an abortion. You can buy a morning afterpill without showing your ID STI tests are free birth control and condoms are free You can legally buy alcohol when your 16 And drugs is legal
If you think that a woman should have to carry, give birth, and raise a child of her rapist because you’re “pro-life”, then you need to reevaluate your fucking perspective on life and womanhood. The emotional, mental, and physical pain of being raped is already more than enough, can you imagine having to suspend your education, career, and life to raise a child you were forced to bear?
I defend my right as a woman and so should you. My life, my fucking body, get over it.
Good question! A lot of people don’t know this: you don’t actually get pregnant during sex or even right after. It can take up to six days for the sperm and egg to join and form a fertilized egg. Then, it takes 6-10 days for the fertilized egg to completely implant itself in the lining of the uterus. Pregnancy begins during implantation when the hormone needed to support pregnancy is released. That hormone is called the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (HCG). Pregnancy tests work by detecting it.
This is why emergency contraception is possible – and why it’s so great that it exists! Emergency contraception (a.k.a. Plan B or the so-called “morning-after” pill) can be taken up to five days after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy.In a way, it should really be called the “up to a few mornings after” pill.
As for when you’ll know you’re pregnant, most people start to figure it out when they miss their period. Most over-the-counter pregnancy tests start being accurate around then – the first day of your missed period.