Can you drink alcohol after taking Plan B

Can you drink alcohol after taking Plan B Contraceptive?

Taking Plan B is mostly due to having unprotected sex. Plan B is an emergency contraceptive pill made to help keep pregnancy at bay after you have had unprotected sex.

Plan B is also used in the situation of a birth control failure. You might want to drink alcohol after taking Plan B but you might be scared too because you think taking alcohol after taking Plan B can cause it to be less effective.

However, this is not the case. You are free to take alcohol after taking Plan B. Alcohol does not make Plan B any less effective. You should however take alcohol in moderate amounts after taking Plan B because alcohol can worsen some of the side effects of Plan B such as headache, vomiting, dizziness, nausea, and tiredness.

Continue reading to know more about Plan B, how it works, how you can drink alcohol after taking Plan B, and also you might learn something new along the way. 

What is Plan B?

Also known as the morning-after pill, Plan B (levonorgestrel) is an oral medication that can prevent pregnancy after having unprotected sex.

It cannot get rid of an already established pregnancy nor can it protect you against any sexually transmitted diseases (STIs). To get the best results or effectiveness of Plan B, it should be taken as soon as possible after having unprotected sex.

How does it work?

Plan B works in 2 ways. It stops the ovary from releasing an egg and also it prevents a fertilized egg from implanting itself in the uterus.

Sperms can live inside your body for up to six days after sex. So when Plan B stops the ovaries from releasing an egg, the sperm does not have anything to fertilize, thus, pregnancy will not happen.

In case a sperm already fertilizes an egg, Plan B may prevent the fertilized egg from implanting itself in the uterus hence making pregnancy impossible. Plan B becomes ineffective if a fertilized egg is already implanted in the uterus. 

Your timing in the menstrual cycle, and how early you take the morning-after pill after unprotected sex can affect how well Plan B will prevent pregnancy.

A number of people do not know when ovulation sets in. It will be in your best interest to use Plan B as soon as possible – no matter the stage in your menstrual cycle.

Plan B does not cause abortion or miscarriage. Thus, it will not work once you are already pregnant, and it will not cause harm if you already have a baby in your womb.

How effective is Plan B?

It is most effective when taken as soon as possible with the first 72 hours after having sex without protection.

The sooner you are taking the pill the simpler and more effective it is. It may also be less effective in people who are nearing ovulation or people with a higher body mass index (BMI).

What happens if you take it after the first 72 hours?

According to studies, Plan B is moderately effective when taken between 72 and 120 hours after sex. The longer you take to use the Plan B the less effective it becomes.

How to use Plan B

To use Plan B, make sure to follow the instructions written on the product. Plan B can be purchased over-the-counter without a prescription in pharmacies.  Make sure to take the tablet with or without food within 72 hours after having unprotected sex.

What are the symptoms of Plan B?

Plan B can cause the subsequent side effects

  • Nausea
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness 
  • Lower abdominal pains
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Fatigue
  • Breast tenderness 
  • Late period cycle or changes to period cycle

Can you drink alcohol after taking Plan B?

Generally, it is not advisable to take alcohol with medications. However, it is considered safe to drink alcohol after taking the emergency contraceptive Plan B. You can drink alcohol before or after taking Plan B.

Even though drinking alcohol after using Plan B is not considered dangerous, it can worsen potential side effects of Plan B. 

Plan b can sometimes cause side effects such as dizziness, vomiting, tiredness, headache, and nausea and drinking alcohol can worsen these side effects.

Can weight have an impact on the effectiveness of Plan B?

The effectiveness of Plan B could be reduced if a woman weighs over 70 kg (155 Ibs) according to the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health Care (FSRH). 

According to the World Health Organisation, the effectiveness of Plan B (levonorgestrel is reduced in obese women (women with body mass index greater than 30 kg/m2), however, there are no concerns with safety. If there happens to be a need, these women should be given access to Plan B.

Is there any limit as to how many times you can take Plan B?

There is no fixed limit to how many times you can take Plan B. However, taking it frequently is not advisable, as it is only intended to avoid pregnancy after unprotected sex.

Over usage of it may result in an imbalance in your hormonal levels which may present as other medical conditions.

Look for other long-term contraceptive options if you think you will need to take Plan B frequently.

Does Plan B work all the time?

A contraceptive like Plan B can prevent pregnancy 75% to 89% of the time if you are taking it within three days of unprotected sex.

Can Plan B protect me from STIs?

Plan B does not offer any protection against any sexually transmitted diseases. Its sole purpose is to prevent pregnancy and it does this by stopping the ovary from releasing an egg and also it may prevent a fertilized egg from implanting itself in the uterus.

Can I have unprotected sex shortly after taking Plan B?

Having unprotected sex right after or shortly after taking the morning-after pill, is a separate pregnancy risk on its own. It is best to seek advice from a medical expert concerning this. 

How will I know if  Plan B worked?

The only way to know if Plan B has prevented pregnancy is to wait for your next period. If your period comes more than a week late, you may want to consider taking a pregnancy test. Some women will experience light bleeding after taking Plan B and may take this as a sign that it’s worked to prevent pregnancy.

However, spotting is an expected side effect of the contraceptive and isn’t a sign that it has or has not prevented pregnancy. Having your period and or a negative pregnancy test is the only way to know for sure.

Takeaway

Plan B is an emergency contraceptive. It should be taken within the first 72 hours after having sex to get the best results. It does not give protection against any form of sexually transmitted diseases. Also, there is no harm in drinking alcohol after taking Plan B.

However, it is not advisable because it can worsen the side effects of Plan B. Some of the side effects of Plan B include nausea, tiredness, headache, vomiting, dizziness, lower abdominal pains, heavy menstrual bleeding, fatigue, tenderness of the breast, changes in period cycle, delay in menstrual period.

WRITTEN AND EDITED RESPECTIVELY BY:

Michael Sarfo
Content Creator at Wapomu

Michael Sarfo is a graduate of the University of Ghana, Legon. He is a content creator for enochkabange.com and a writer for Wapomu

Dr. Solomon Kwesi Otchere (Pharmacist)
Pharmacist

Dr. Solomon Kwesi Otchere is a Pharmacist by profession in Ghana. He is passionate about informed healthy lifestyle and diet options necessary for preventing many disease conditions. He also empowers patients and clients to make savvy choices on medications needful to promote good health.

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