What's the Difference Between the Abortion Pill and Plan B?

Misinformation isn’t uncommon, especially on the internet. And it’s crucial to know that “the abortion pill” and Plan B can’t be used interchangeably–they have two distinct purposes. 

When it comes to pregnancy, you deserve the facts. Staying up-to-date will help you to make confident decisions. Make a free and confidential appointment at Life Light Pregnancy Help Center today to learn more. 

The Abortion Pill: Ending a Pregnancy

The abortion pill (also called medical abortion) ends a pregnancy with drugs. Mifepristone blocks progesterone, a hormone that aids the pregnancy’s development. Without progesterone, the uterine lining will thin, and the pregnancy will detach and end.

Afterward, misoprostol is taken, which induces uterine contractions. These contractions expel the pregnancy and related tissue from the body. 

This abortion method is FDA-approved through 10 weeks gestation. If you take these drugs, you’ll have abdominal cramping and vaginal bleeding. You could also experience other side effects, including:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Chills

Taking abortion pill drugs is a major medical decision, and it poses certain health risks you should be aware of, including:

  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort
  • Infection
  • Heavy, prolonged bleeding
  • Incomplete abortion (which may require surgical treatment)
  • An ongoing pregnancy (if the drugs don’t work)

Plan B: Preventing a Pregnancy

Contrary to what you may have heard or read online, Plan B does not end a pregnancy and is not an abortion method. 

Also known as the “morning-after pill,” Plan B is a form of emergency contraception. It works by delaying or preventing ovulation, the process by which an egg is released from an ovary. Without an egg, there is nothing for sperm to fertilize. 

Plan B does not end a pregnancy that has already been implanted. And it’s important to remember that it can fail, especially if you’re overweight or obese or you don’t take it as directed.

This birth control method has certain side effects you should be aware of, including:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Breast tenderness
  • Bleeding between periods or heavier menstrual bleeding
  • Lower abdominal pain or cramps

Remember, Plan B doesn’t always work. The only prevention method that’s 100% effective is abstaining from sexual intercourse. 

Learn More

Life Light Pregnancy Help Center believes that learning about your health can empower you to make empowered decisions. Whether you’re wondering whether you’re pregnant or would like more information about how to make healthy choices, we’re here for you.

Make a free and confidential appointment today to get started.

Life Light does not refer for or provide abortions, abortion services, or the abortion pill.

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