What you should know about Conservation Plan B

The central theses

  • The Supreme Court is poised to end federal protections for abortion rights, leaked draft opinion says.
  • In the hours after the news broke, some took to social media, encouraging others to get emergency supplies of Plan B, birth control and abortion pills in case access to those drugs is restricted.
  • While it may be wise to have a plan B on hand, experts warn that the pills will eventually expire and hoarding them could limit access for others.

On Monday, Politically published a leaked draft statement indicating this Roe v. calfthe landmark decision guaranteeing the right to access abortion could soon be struck down.

In the hours after the news broke, frantic news about birth control stockpiling and Plan B flooded social media. According to data from Google Trends, interest in the search terms “abortion pill” increased threefold and “buy a plan B” fourfold.

Twitter users shared links to buy Plan B online, push others to set up an emergency supply if the drug is difficult to obtain. In an email to Verywell, a CVS spokesperson said the emergency contraception “continues to be available at CVS pharmacy locations,” but gave no updates on sales.

Plan C, a nonprofit organization that provides information on how to purchase medically safe abortion pills, saw 56,000 visitors after the news That Washington Post. Those who want an abortion can get the pills online, sometimes from foreign pharmacies that are not bound by US law. Plan C allows people to order abortion pills “to keep in their medicine cabinet in case they miss their periods.”

The abortion pill

Mifepristone, commonly called the abortion pill, is taken with a second pill, misoprostol. The drug can be taken at home, but often requires a prescription.

What are your options for emergency contraception?

There are currently two types of emergency contraceptives approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Plan B One-Step, sometimes called the morning-after pill, is the only emergency contraceptive available without a prescription. There are several generic versions of this formula including AfterPill, My Way, Next Choice One Dose and Take Action.

Plan B and its generic counterparts are available over the counter at most pharmacies and can be ordered online. Also, as of 2013, people of all ages can buy it.

Plan B contains a concentrated dose of progestin, a synthetic hormone found in many other forms of birth control. The progestin prevents pregnancy by stopping or slowing down ovulation, so sperm in the uterus or vagina have no chance of fertilizing an egg.

The other emergency contraceptive is a drug called ella, which requires a prescription. Plan B is less effective for people who weigh more than 155 pounds or have a body mass index greater than 25. Ella, meanwhile, remains effective for this group, said Sophia Yen, MD, MPH, a clinical associate professor at Stanford Medical School and co-founder of Pandia Health, a birth control company.

Yen said copper and hormonal intrauterine devices (IUDs), which can also work as emergency contraceptives, are even more effective than ella in people with a BMI greater than 25.

To best prevent pregnancy, Plan B should be taken as soon as possible after sex and within 72 hours. Take ella within five days of having sex.

Because time is of the essence with the morning-after pill, Yen recommends her patients keep a supply of emergency contraception on hand. This can save you the time and hassle of rushing to a pharmacy after having unprotected sex.

Does the morning-after pill expire?

Plan B has a shelf life of four years and ella expires after three years. For the exact month and year the pills expire, you can check the information on the side of the box.

When purchasing an emergency contraceptive, Yen recommends asking the pharmacist or healthcare provider about the drug with the longest expiration date.

Medicines stay effective longer if they are stored properly. That means storing it in a dry, dark place. You can keep it in a closet or drawer somewhere other than the bathroom where it may get steamy or humid. It is best stored at room temperature or between 68 and 77 degrees.

Have an emergency supply, but only buy what you need

It’s wise to keep a supply of emergency and non-emergency contraception on hand. Yen recommends automating your birth control or opting for a long-acting, reversible birth control method, such as B. an IUD that can protect you for years.

However, some warn that access to the drugs could become even more limited if people choose to stockpile them.

in one tweetAuthor Amy Jo Cousins, wrote: “Please DO NOT order Plan B tonight unless you have an actual plan to distribute it in your community or we have a million doses wasting away in medicine cabinets while people who need it, can’t get it because it’s sold out.”

Other shared links to distribution networks and mutual aid systems that distribute medicines in their communities to people who need them.

“When people hoard [the pills], then those who need it can’t get it,” Yen said. “However, if I were in one of the 28 states that could ban abortion, I would at least have emergency contraception. Abortion drugs are harder to come by and more expensive.”

What that means for you

Most insurance policies cover emergency birth control and birth control free of charge when prescribed by a doctor. Your plan may also cover over-the-counter emergency contraception at a drugstore.

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