Even if you’re using protection, there’s always a chance that you could get pregnant. Perhaps you’ve turned to Plan B to avoid an unplanned pregnancy. But, what happens if it fails? It’s crucial to understand your pregnancy options so you can plan your next steps!

Today, we’re discussing Plan B—including how it works, side effects, and what to do if you still get pregnant after taking it. Keep reading to learn more!

How Does Plan B Work?

Plan B is a form of emergency contraception that lowers the risk of pregnancy by preventing or delaying ovulation. It’s often used when birth control fails or in cases of sexual assault.

It’s important to know that all other forms of emergency contraception should only be used as backups, not as primary methods of birth control[1].

Is Plan B an Abortion Pill? What’s the Difference?

While they seem similar, Plan B and the abortion pill are not the same things. The difference is that Plan B aims to keep you from getting pregnant in the first place, while the abortion pill ends a pregnancy that has already begun.

If you have been sexually active in weeks prior to taking Plan B you may want to take a pregnancy test or even receive an ultrasound just to be certain that you’re not pregnant from a previous sexual encounter.

Can Plan B Cause Miscarriage?

While its goal is to prevent pregnancy altogether, it can cause early miscarriage in rare cases[2]. This happens when the egg has already been fertilized but is prevented from implanting properly in the uterus. The embryo never has the chance to develop into a viable pregnancy and is eventually miscarried.

How Effective is Plan B? When Can I Take Plan B?

It is most effective when taken as soon as possible after having unprotected sex. It will continue to reduce the risk of pregnancy for up to 120 hours (5 days)[1].

Does Plan B Have Side Effects?

Common side effects include[1]:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Cramps or abdominal pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Breast tenderness
  • Delayed period (up to a week), heavier bleeding during your next period, or bleeding between periods

These side effects should be mild and only last a few days. However, if you experience bleeding or spotting for longer than a week or severe lower abdominal pain three to five weeks after taking it, contact your healthcare provider immediately, as these symptoms can indicate a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy has occurred[1].

What to Do if Plan B Fails

If your period is delayed for more than three to four weeks, it may be a sign that it has failed[1]. The next step is to determine whether or not you’re pregnant. Consider scheduling a free pregnancy test and free ultrasound at The Pregnancy Center of Greater Toledo!

If your results come back positive, don’t panic. Our compassionate team is here to help you explore all of your pregnancy options so that you can make an informed and empowered decision! We will do everything we can to equip you to take your next steps with confidence!

Give us a call at (567) 694-5576 or schedule an appointment online today. All services are confidential and free of charge!

Please be aware that The Pregnancy Center of Greater Toledo does not provide or refer for abortion services.



  1. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, June 3). Morning-after pill. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/morning-after-pill/about/pac-20394730#  
  2. Embryocidal Potential of Modern Contraceptives. AAPLOG. (2020, January 15). Retrieved from https://aaplog.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/FINAL-CO-7-Embryocidal-Potential-of-Modern-Contraception-1.20.20.pdf