Is It Safe To Take Plan B After An Abortion?

Perhaps now just isn't the right time, or maybe children just aren't in the cards for you. Whatever the reason, having an abortion is generally considered a safe and effective way to end a pregnancy. The irony is, however, that following an abortion, your body may quickly seek to become pregnant again.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reports that, after receiving abortion services, 83% of women will ovulate before their next period. In fact, some women may find that ovulation comes as soon as five days after terminating a pregnancy (per MSI Reproductive Choices). With that being said, it's possible to become pregnant again before your next period even has the chance to arrive. For that reason, it's recommended that most women begin using a contraceptive — like the pill — immediately after, or one week after, the pregnancy ends (per Family Planning Information Service).

However, even after an abortion, accidents happen. If you had unprotected sex or sex in which birth control failed in the weeks following an abortion, you may be wondering whether or not it's safe to take emergency contraceptives like Plan B. Here's what we found out.

How to use emergency contraception after an abortion

Both birth control pills and emergency contraceptives such as Plan B contain levonorgestrel, a drug that works to inhibit ovulation (per MedlinePlus). While birth control pills contain small amounts of levonorgestrel, and are meant to be taken every day as a way to keep ovulation perpetually at bay, Plan B contains a much higher single dose of the drug, and is designed to be taken in the 72 hours after unprotected sex.

Both short-acting forms of birth control, like condoms or the pill, as well as long-acting options, like the shot or intrauterine devices (IUD), are considered safe to begin immediately following surgical and medical abortions (per Better Health Channel). Beginning birth control immediately after having an abortion is the best way to ensure that you don't become pregnant again. However, if you miss the opportunity to start birth control straight away, O&G Magazine reports that Plan B can be taken as emergency contraceptive as soon as five days after an abortion.

Alternatively, a copper IUD can be inserted up to five days after unprotected sex as a form of emergency contraception. Not only are IUDs safe to use immediately after an abortion, but they also have the ability to prevent pregnancy for up to ten years.