Correcting misconception about morning-after pill

OlympiaFebruary 10, 2014 

There are some misconceptions about Plan B, the morning-after pill. A recent letter to the editor states “Plan B could interrupt completion of the yet unformed human being that is in the mother’s womb.”

According to the Mayo Clinic website, morning-after pills do not end a pregnancy that has implanted. Depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle, morning-after pills may act by one or more of the following actions: delaying or preventing ovulation, blocking fertilization, or keeping a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.

However, recent evidence strongly suggests that Plan B One-Step does not inhibit implantation. Plan B One-Step contains the hormone levonorgestrel — a progestin, which along with estrogen is commonly in birth control pills and other drugs that women can take during menopause or to slow the progression of osteoporosis.

Keep in mind that the morning-after pill isn’t the same as mifepristone (Mifeprex), also known as RU-486 or the abortion pill. Mifeprex terminates an established pregnancy — one in which the fertilized egg has attached to the uterine wall and has already begun to develop.

For information on Plan B, go to mayoclinic.org, then search “morning-after-pill.”

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