What is the difference between Plan B and the abortion pill?

We get it — there’s so much information out there regarding the abortion pill, Plan B, birth control, and more! It can be a challenge to understand the differences between each, when to take what, and whether or not any of it is even right for you!

Here at Options Medical Clinic, we often receive questions related to the differences between Plan B and the abortion pill, so today, we’re talking about the two medications — how they work and what to expect. We hope this information will help you make an empowered choice when facing an unexpected pregnancy!

What is “Plan B?” 

Plan B, or “the morning-after pill,” is a means of preventing pregnancy after unprotected sex. This is an over-the-counter drug that may be taken within the first 72 hours of unprotected sex.
Woman debating Plan B and the abortion pill

Plan B works to prevent pregnancy in the following ways:

  1. Prevents ovulation so the egg isn’t released
  2. Prevents fertilization by preventing the sperm from reaching the egg
  3. Alters the lining of the uterus to keep the fertilized egg from implanting in the womb

What to expect when taking Plan B

Plan B may be accompanied by discomfort and side effects such as abdominal pain, headaches, bleeding, nausea, dizziness, lethargy, tender breasts, and changes in your period.

What is the abortion pill?

The abortion pill ends an unwanted pregnancy in the first 10 weeks of gestation through a two pill process. The first drug, Mifepristone, ends the pregnancy by ceasing the production of the naturally occurring pregnancy hormone, progesterone, which supports the growth of the pregnancy.

The second pill, Misoprostol, is then administered to force the embryo or fetus from the uterus. The main difference between Plan B and the abortion pill is that Plan B is intended to prevent an unwanted pregnancy and the abortion pill is intended to end an unwanted pregnancy.

What to expect when taking the abortion pill

Medical abortions are typically started in a doctor’s office or abortion clinic, where the abortion provider will administer Mifepristone. The patient will then take Misoprostol at home, where contractions will begin.

When taking the abortion pill, one can expect to expel the pregnancy tissue as well as blood clots, sometimes as large as a lemon.

While the abortion pill comes with the same side effects as Plan B, it can also come with serious risks for abortion complications, including hemorrhaging and infections. Some of these risks can be life-threatening if left untreated.

Experiencing an unexpected pregnancy? We’re here to help!

If you’re walking through an unexpected pregnancy, you’re not alone!

Options Medical Clinic provides lab-quality, high-sensitivity pregnancy testing at no cost to you! Once you receive your results, our staff will be available to discuss your options, answer questions, and point you to resources to help you make an informed and empowered choice for your pregnancy!