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I never thought at this time in my life, I would be learning about the option of choosing Plan B One-Step. I’m in the family stage of my life. Trying to build a family. This wasn’t always the case. Looking back, I wish a product such as this had been available over a decade ago. A lot less fear of the accidental “Plan A” not working right and waiting to see if you did get a positive pregnancy test, was a scare that many don’t want to face.
Then a day came recently that one of my best friends told me that she went to Walgreens and was choosing Plan B One-Step, an over the counter, no prescription or ID required, emergency contraceptive. I had many questions as I am sure others do too, so while respecting her privacy, she has agreed to share her experience.
A few facts to know about choosing Plan B One-Step. It is a one tablet dosage that anyone can purchase at Walgreens. There is a $10 off printable coupon you can use as well. It is NOT an abortion pill and will not affect an existing pregnancy. This is to be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sexual intercourse. It reduces the chance of pregnancy after unprotected sex by using the active ingredient, levonorgestrel, which is the same ingredient in many common birth control pills – but at a higher, single dose.
My friend took me to Walgreens to show me exactly where they put the Plan B One-Step products. Our store keeps them in the contraceptive aisle where the sanitary napkins and tampons are also located. If you do not find them there, you can ask a pharmacist to assist in locating.
*Name has been changed to protect my friend*
Me: “What led to your decision in choosing Plan B One-Step?”
Kelsey: “I chose Plan B after an unplanned encounter with a friend. I am not emotionally or financially prepared to start a family and decided that Plan B would be best for protecting me from making a life changing decision.”
Me: “What do you envision for yourself as far as the future and family. How does having access to Plan B help you keep your dreams in focus?”
Kelsey: “While Plan B is not my normal selection for regular birth control, it allows me to protect myself when unforeseen circumstances arise. It has saved me from other birth control failures and given me peace of mind in those scary moments, especially since I am unable to use daily hormonal birth controls. Having access to it let’s me know I am safe and that I am able to control my future.”
Me: “Had you ever thought about choosing Plan B product before opting to take it?”
Kelsey: “Originally, I had not thought highly of Plan B. I thought it was an excuse for people to just have sex and then cover up their mistakes, but for me, it saved me from a condom failure. I am now an advocate because I realize how frequently accidents actually happen – ones that are not just simply “I didn’t feel like being safe.”
Me: “How soon after intercourse did you decide to take Plan B?”
Kelsey: “I took Plan B within 12-hours of my sexual encounter.”
Me: “Did the cost deter you at all when deciding to take Plan B?”
Kelsey: “No. $50 was well worth protecting myself.”
Me: “When you chose to use Plan B is it because you decided to have unprotected sex or because your “Plan A” did not go as planned?”
Kelsey: “For me, “Plan A” was a failure for me. It was a backup plan.”
Me: “Did you endure any side effects from Plan B, or did your cycle change at all, if so what were they?”
Kelsey: “I did experience a slightly delayed period, but nothing terrible. My cycle was delayed by approximately 5 days. I took it about mid-way through my cycle.”
**Please note some side effects can be menstrual changes, nausea, lower stomach (abdominal pain), tiredness, headache, dizziness, breast pain, and vomiting.**
Me: “At this point in your life, knowing that Plan B is an option, does that make you feel more secure knowing you have back up if a condom were to break
Kelsey: “It will continue to be a backup method for when failures of sorts occur. The cost of Plan B does make it more difficult to use as a Plan A.”
Me: “Do you feel that there should be more education about products like Plan B available for teens? Why or why not?”
Kelsey: “I believe we should always educate youth about their options. If it keeps even one teenager or young adult from making a decision that alters their lives dramatically, it is worth it. Alternatively, these same women need to know that it does not protect from STDs so that they do not use it as a plan to fully protect themselves.”
While we all know that our sexual relationships and our family planning is a decision only we can make ourselves, knowing the facts, and knowing there is back up for when things do not go as planned, really is changing the way women take control of their future and their own bodies.