When My Plan A Birth Control Failed, I Took Plan B

plan b, sex, condoms, birth control, pregnancy, contraception

Condoms: totally awesome, but unfortunately, not 100% foolproof. | Source: Shutterstock

My boyfriend and I had just finished getting it on and he sat up, looked down at my crotch, and said calmly, “You have a drizzling of semen on your pubes.” I, however, did not reply so calmly, and instead yelled, “ARE YOU F___ING KIDDING ME?!” He shook his head and I stared at the ceiling for a second, thinking maybe I was about to get pregnant, and feeling cheated because we had used a condom, although of course condoms aren’t 100% foolproof (condom failure or user error, we’ll never know). And all of a sudden, I remembered something and a calm came over me too. “Well,” I said, “let’s get cleaned up and go to a pharmacy for Plan B.”

In case you’re not sure what Plan B is, I’ll clarify: taking Plan B (often called the “morning-after pill”) within 72 hours of birth control failure (or failure to use birth control) can prevent pregnancy. If you’re like, “Huh?!,” just stay with me here. Sperm can live up to several days inside of you, and an egg may not be right there yet, waiting to be fertilized. Taking Plan B prevents ovulation (when your ovary releases an egg) and also helps prevent any egg that is there from attaching to your uterine wall. Basically, it can keep the sperm and the egg from hooking up. (By the way? Plan B is NOT the same as RU-486, which induces a chemical abortion. If you’re already pregnant, Plan B will not cause an abortion, and you’ll stay pregnant unless you decide to do something else about it.)

ANYWAY. Back to my story! My guy and I didn’t have to discuss, debate, or despair about the decision. Before my boyfriend and I had ever had sex, we’d had a discussion about what would happen if I got pregnant. It wasn’t much of a discussion even then: neither of us want kids, and so terminating a pregnancy would be the only acceptable option for us in the case of a pregnancy–but preventing a pregnancy through Plan B seemed even better.

You have 72 hours to take it after an incident in which you think you might have gotten pregnant, but why wait? We went out immediately to purchase it. Asking the pharmacist for Plan B was a little awkward (even though Plan B is non-prescription for women over 17, it’s stored behind the pharmacist’s counter, so you do have to ask for it), although the pharmacist seemed unfazed. She confirmed that the accident had occurred within the last 72 hours, then handed me a box and briefed me on possible side effects (nausea, fatigue, headaches, dizziness). My boyfriend and I plunked down $40 (cost varies depending on where you buy it, and you can also print a $10 discount coupon from Plan B’s website). I figured it was absolutely worth the money, because an abortion would cost WAY more), I put the Plan B in my purse, and off we went. “Bottoms up,” I nervously said in the car, took a swig of juice, then swallowed the pill. I went out with friends for hours afterward; I didn’t feel any side effects.

birth control, condoms, plan b, contraception, pregnancy, sex

Taking Plan B let me continue living my life. | Source: Shutterstock

I got my period right on schedule a couple weeks later. At no point have I regretted taking Plan B; neither my boyfriend nor I were emotionally or financially stable enough to have a baby, besides the fact that neither of us wanted to be parents, period. I hope to never have to do it again, although should I be faced with another birth control failure (protection=really important!!!), I know I would. I made the right choice.

Have you ever taken Plan B? Do you know anyone who has? Do you think Plan B should be available to teenagers without their parents permission? Tell me everything in the comments!

Now, Let’s Talk About Abortion . . . Really.

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  • SHea

    The “knowing your cycles and bodies” comment worries me. I knew my cycles and such and got pregnant while supposedly infertile. I wasn’t being irresponsible, a condom broke and I “knew about cycles” and checked my mucus which looked infertile to me so I didn’t get plan B. I have a very regular 28 day cycle and this was 4 days after my period started. I should have had 10 days until ovulation and 3-5 until all the sperm were dead so it seemed safe. I was in denial long enough to not be able to have a pill abortion because I was so sure I knew myself. I couldn’t handle the vacuum kind so I had a little girl at 16.

    If your first method fails, get plan B no matter what point of your cycle you are in. Being pregnant as a teen is REALLY hard, taking care of a babyeven harder. (not that I would change my mind but I wish I had some idea at the time!)

  • Alice

    i don’t know if i EVER want to get pregnant, but if i did (and wasn’t married/wanting a kid) i would not have an abortion. i wouldn’t be able to do it. hopefully, i would be able to take plan B before i got pregnant though!

  • Liz

    I was given plan b at planned parenthood when I was 15. This was a long time ago though, so I’m not sure if that’s changed by now.

  • Hannah

    I have had to do this within the last couple months and it was super expensive. It was over $50 and I wish I would have known about the $10 coupon! But I do agree it’s worth the expense. I’d rather spend $50 than shell out the money for abortion or childraising.

  • Claudiaaa

    I have taken the plan B too. I don’t regret it either. It saved my life. Lol. Its always smart to think ahead because when it happens you’ll know exactly what I do.

  • lucy

    Eehm. How old am I ment to be to go on this website? I’m only just turned 12!

  • Kit

    While I completely support the idea and accessiblity of Plan B, I would also love for girls to know their cycles and their bodies much more. I’ve never taken Plan B but know a girl that pops them like crazy (which is very irresponsible from her part), but after talking to her and getting more info about her cycle, she wasn’t even fertile when she took it; she could’ve saved herself the money, the stress, and the messed-up cycle she ended up having because of Plan B.

    Like I said, I love Plan B, so don’t get me wrong. But knowing your body/cycles can really help prevent a scare and having to take such a high does of hormones at once (hence, the possible side effects).

    • Dee

      Hi, I was curious.. Do you know if she has taken any the day or any day after ovulation?

  • Missy

    no but when if the situation ever comes up in the future then i will possibly use it. im not so sure that teens should get it without parents permission in certain cases…