Posted: 11/22/2015

The Morning After Pill: How It Works

Woman_taking_the_morning_after_pill

Emergency contraceptive pills (commonly known as “The Morning After Pill”) are used to prevent pregnancy for up to 72 hours after unprotected sex. Plan B, the most widely available emergency contraceptive, is cost efficient, available over-the-counter and has been approved for safe use in all women of child-bearing age (i.e. all women who have begun to menstruate). 

Plan B’s mechanism of action is not entirely understood. One thing that is becoming clearer is that one statement on the packaging of these pills may be wrong: top medical scientists believe that emergency contraceptives do not block fertilized eggs from implanting on the uterus.

The official website for Plan B, the brand name form of levenorgestrel tablets, states that the medication works mainly by stopping ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovary). Essentially, the medication stalls the release of an egg until it is too late for the sperm to fertilize it. The website goes on to say that Plan B may also work by preventing the fertilization of an egg and preventing the attachment of an already-fertilized egg to the uterus. It’s this last statement with which many leading scientists take issue.

In 2012, The New York Times reported that the phrasing on Plan B labels and several respected medical websites is not congruent with what scientists know about how emergency contraceptives work. Scientists have found that these pills do delay ovulation, and that some varieties of the Morning After pill also thicken the cervical mucus, which reduces the chance of sperm reaching and fertilizing an egg. These scientists have found no evidence, however, that these pills prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus.

The original FDA description for Plan B is vague, and states that the drug “could theoretically prevent pregnancy by interfering with a number of physiological processes”, including implantation. Experts believe the reason implantation was originally included in this list is because Plan B contains levonorgestrel, an ingredient in many daily birth control pills, alters the lining of the uterus.

However, this alteration has not been proven to prevent implantation. 

Regardless of Plan B’s mechanism of action, it is important to remember that this medication is more effective the sooner it is taken after unprotected sex, and it will not terminate a pregnancy once a fertilized egg has attached to the uterine wall. This medication also should not be used as a regular form of birth control, as it is not as effective as birth control medications that are prescribed for daily use.

By HelpRx Staff Writer

Get your Prescription Discount Card and automatically SAVE on over 50,000 drugs nationwide.

Helprx_branded_card_desktop Click-here-redbg

About the HelpRx.info Blog

HelpRx.info is staffed by experts in the prescription medication industry. Get the latest health, medical news and pharmaceutical news that can save you money and allow you to take charge of your healthcare. With frequent updates about the prescription drug industry as well as medicine news, you'll gain an insider look into the industry and learn more about how to get the best price on your prescriptions while not sacrificing quality. Subscribe to the HelpRx.info pharmacy blog through our RSS feed or get updates by liking HelpRx.info on Facebook and following HelpRx.info on Twitter.

About HelpRx

Our discounts provide you access to negotiated prices on your prescription drugs at your local pharmacy. We can provide these because we're partnered with OptumRx, a BIG pharmacy benefit provider that provides prescription coverage for MILLIONS of people like you.

About ScriptRelief

Script Relief, the creator of the NPSN card and HelpRx discounts, helps consumers save an average of 50%, and up to 75%, off their prescriptions.

Popular Post

 

Get your Prescription Discount Card and automatically SAVE on over 50,000 drugs nationwide.

Helprx_branded_card_desktop Click-here-redbg

Popular Post

 

About the HelpRx.info Blog

HelpRx.info is staffed by experts in the prescription medication industry. Get the latest health, medical news and pharmaceutical news that can save you money and allow you to take charge of your healthcare. With frequent updates about the prescription drug industry as well as medicine news, you'll gain an insider look into the industry and learn more about how to get the best price on your prescriptions while not sacrificing quality. Subscribe to the HelpRx.info pharmacy blog through our RSS feed or get updates by liking HelpRx.info on Facebook and following HelpRx.info on Twitter.

About HelpRx

Our discounts provide you access to negotiated prices on your prescription drugs at your local pharmacy. We can provide these because we're partnered with OptumRx, a BIG pharmacy benefit provider that provides prescription coverage for MILLIONS of people like you.

About ScriptRelief

Script Relief, the creator of the NPSN card and HelpRx discounts, helps consumers save an average of 50%, and up to 75%, off their prescriptions.

Helprx_savings_logo

About Our Savings:

HelpRx.info is a discount pharmacy service, partnered with a leading pharmacy benefit manager. We negotiate lower prices on prescription medications, that we pass on to our members for free. There is no cost to use our cards and coupon, and anyone can take advantage of our discounts, regardless of healthcare coverage.

Our savings assurance of “up to 75% off” comes from historical data from actual claims. This data includes savings for both brand name and generic medications.