The effectiveness of plan b in overweight individuals is not clearly established. There haven’t been enough studies on this topic to know for sure how effective it is when taken by overweight people. More research needs to be done before we have the answer. However, if you are obese, your risk of certain complications can be higher than it would be for a person who has a healthy weight. The additional risks include blood clots in your legs or lung or an ectopic pregnancy that occurs outside the uterus (womb).
Overweight and obese people may need to take more than one pill to prevent pregnancy, so be sure to read the instructions on the package insert. It is also important for you to talk with your doctor about what options are best for you. You both should decide which method of birth control will work best for you, given your overall health and medical history. It is also important to remember that if you become pregnant while using this or any other medicine, it is important that you tell your doctor.
In summary, for most people taking one pill every day is a safe and effective way of preventing pregnancy. In some cases, a woman may need to take two pills in order to prevent pregnancy. However, the risk increases if you are overweight or obese and it is very important that women with special health needs receive careful medical attention before deciding on their method of birth control.
Table of Contents
- How Effective is Plan B Overweight
- Weight vs BMI
- Why Does Your Weight or BMI Matter
- The Research: Plan B
- Other EC Methods
- Each Method In-Depth
- When to Get Medical Advice
- Tips for Max Efficacy
- Is this a sign that Plan B won’t work?
- Is Plan B effective if you’re 200 pounds?
- What is the best morning-after pill for overweight people?
- Is it necessary for me to take two Plan B pills?
- If you take four Plan B pills in a month, what happens?
- Is it possible that Plan B will make you infertile?
- How much overweight is considered obese?
- Is there anyone who has gotten pregnant after using Plan B?
How Effective is Plan B Overweight
If you weigh 155 pounds or have a BMI of 30Trusted Source or higher, Plan B may be less effective. However, if one of these scenarios applies to you, there are no safety issues with utilizing it. The Plan B label and prescription recommendations haven’t been changed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Why? Because there isn’t enough evidence to show a clear correlation between obesity and decreased Plan B effectiveness.
So, if you’re close to or above this limit, Plan B is still an option. Finding the right birth control technique for you won’t be easy, but by being honest with yourself and your doctor, you can make the greatest option for you. Consult a health care provider about the benefits and drawbacks of various types of birth control for you. Plan B is a single-dose sachet of the levonorgestrel containing 1.5 grams (or 1,500 mg). Plan B One-Step has the same quantity of levonorgestrel as (or is comparable to) one dose of levonorgestrel found in other brands’ two packets.
Weight vs BMI
BMI is not the same as weight. It’s computed by dividing a person’s weight by the square of their eight Trusted Source. According to studies, both higher weight and a higher BMI are linked to decreased effectiveness of ECs containing levonorgestrel. Plan B is an example of an EC technique. According to some studies, the effectiveness of EC and other hormonal birth control methods is influenced by your ovaries and body fat. See also: BMI calculator.
Researchers believe that using EC pills while also losing weight may make you less successful than someone who loses weight but does not take the pills. This holds true for all other hormonal birth control methods as well as other medications like blood pressure medication. We recommend that many overweight women lose weight before taking EC tablets unless your doctor provides you with a special warning. What we can tell you is that if you’re overweight and using levonorgestrel EC, the pills’ effectiveness will be lowered if you gain weight at the same time.
To achieve a safe and effective weight loss goal, we recommend that you work closely with your doctor, nurse practitioner, or pharmacist. The medication may not work if you take it after you go past an ideal body weight or if you gain weight while using Plan B. If you’re overweight, Plan B is not your best option unless your doctor provides special instructions for women who are overweight. As one result of all this research, the FDA requires that EC warning labels state that EC can be ineffective if used together with medications that increase blood pressure or reduce blood flow to the heart.
Why Does Your Weight or BMI Matter
I don’t know what your BMI or weight is, but it can be important if you are trying to figure out the effectiveness of birth control. The effectiveness of Plan B depends on your BMI. For up to 1,500 milligrams of levonorgestrel, there is less than 1% chance that it will fail. If you weigh more than 150 pounds, one should expect an 89% chance that Plan B will work in the first 24 hours and a 99% chance in 24 hours plus two days. People with a BMI of 30 or higher had a considerably lower level of levonorgestrel EC in their circulation than people with a BMI of 18.5 to 25 in a pilot investigation conducted in 2016. This shows that persons with a BMI of 30 or above may find Plan B less helpful. Hormone production that influences ovarian activity could be one of the reasons. However, researchers are unsure of the exact level of impact — reduced or otherwise — that these elements may have. See full stories.
The Research: Plan B
Plan B’s usefulness in treating overweight women is uncertain. Although obese female participants were not included in the original research of Plan B, medical experts such as Dr. Andrea Gianvi think that its use in this population is generally safe and successful.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 50% of American women are “overweight” (CDC). However, there has been some debate about how effective Plan B would be if this group used it. In this field, there is a scarcity of research. In several circumstances, it has yielded contradictory outcomes. According to a 2011 study trusted Source, the chance of pregnancy was more than three times higher in women who took a levonorgestrel-based EC and had a BMI of 30 or higher than women who had a BMI of 18.5 to 25.
However, the evidence was insufficient to indicate that a greater BMI was the source of the decrease in ineffectiveness. Despite the fact that other studies have established a similar association, a 2017 research review indicated that the pregnancy rate after taking levonorgestrel-based EC was low across all BMI and weight categories. As a result, the researchers came to the conclusion that Plan B should not be “limited in any weight or BMI category.”The researchers recommended extra counseling and advice for patients in this group based on one study in their analysis that revealed an increase in pregnancy rates among people with a higher BMI. It’s worth noting, however, that the data available for evaluation was limited in scope and diversity. More research is required to completely comprehend how levonorgestrel-based EC tablets, as well as all others, may work for those with a BMI of 30 or above.
Other EC Methods
There are four kinds of EC:
- A progestin-only pill containing levonorgestrel
- A pill containing ulipristal acetate (UPA)
- A copper IUD
- An increased dose of certain combination birth control pills.
The UPA alternative is known as Ella, like Plan B and other levonorgestrel-based tablets, maybe a less effective Trusted Source for women who are overweight. According to Planned Parenthood, women who weigh 195 pounds or more may find Ella less effective. However, Ella may be more successful than Plan B and other levonorgestrel-based pills for persons with a higher weight or BMI. The copper IUD, on the other hand, is equally effective regardless of the user’s weight.
Each Method In-Depth
What can you expect from each choice? Every EC approach works in the same way. They’re made to stop ovulation, fertilization, and implantation, all of which can lead to pregnancy. When you should take it and how effective it is, however, are two different things.
EC Pill with Ulipristal Acetate
Unlike Plan B, the emergency contraceptive tablet containing UPA can only be obtained through a doctor’s prescription. This medication, marketed as Ella, inhibits or delays ovulation by blocking progesterone’s natural actions. Ella must be taken within 5 days of sex to be effective. It can minimize the risk of pregnancy by 85 percent if taken correctly. It makes no difference if you take the medication on day 1 or day 5. Its effectiveness hasn’t changed. Ella is also more probable than levonorgestrel-based EC tablets to prevent ovulation. If you’re in your fertile window, this makes it more effective than Plan B.
EC Pills with Levonorgestrel (a Progestin)
Plan B and Next Choice are two different types of progestin-only ECs. They all contain levonorgestrel, a synthetic hormone. All of them are available over-the-counter. Levonorgestrel inhibits or delays ovulation by inhibiting the release of luteinizing hormone, which signals the release of an egg. This form of EC pill can reduce the likelihood of pregnancy by 95% if taken within 24 hours of sex. It can minimize the risk of pregnancy by 88 percent if taken 24 to 72 hours after sex.
Combined Oral Contraceptive Pills
Although most birth control pills aren’t labeled for emergency usage, a precise quantity of the combination variety can be taken to prevent pregnancy. The hormones in the — estrogen and progestin — essentially do the same thing as EC pills, but you’ll need a higher dose than usual to see results. Professor A. Albert Yuzpe, the guy who showed the success of this strategy, is renowned as the creator of the Yuzpe method. It is, however, the least efficient alternative. It can minimize the risk of pregnancy by 75% if taken within 72 hours of sex. This approach is now approved for over 30 distinct combination birth control tablets. You must take two dosages of the precise amount of pills, separated by exactly 12 hours.
The most effective kind of EC is a copper IUD. By releasing copper into the uterus to prevent fertilization or implantation, it reduces the risk of pregnancy by more than 99 percent. However, the procedure is a little more involved than swallowing a tablet. Within 5 days of sex, a healthcare provider must put the device into the uterus. The downside is that a copper IUD can be left in for up to 12 years as a type of long-term contraception, which can be pricey and unpleasant. (You may learn more about getting an IUD for free or at a minimal cost by clicking here.) You’ll have to wait until after your next period to have it removed if you want it removed.
When to Get Medical Advice
Plan B does not require a prescription or clearance from a doctor. However, it is advisable to consult a medical expert if a person:
- They require emergency contraception, although they weigh more than 155 pounds (70.3 kg).
- Has already tried Plan B and is skeptical of its efficacy.
- Suffers from severe or long-term emergency contraceptive adverse effects
- Thinks they’re expecting a child
The medical situation of each woman is unique. For some people, emergency contraception may not be the best option. Before using emergency contraception, women should always check with their doctor. Women who have used Plan B or another emergency contraceptive drug for any reason should talk to their doctor if they have any questions about its effectiveness, potential side effects, or conception risks.
Tips for Max Efficacy
Doubling the dose of EC tablets will not make them more effective, but it may cause negative effects like nausea. Take EC within the suggested time range to ensure the best level of efficacy. This includes taking Plan B or other levonorgestrel pills within 72 hours of sex. When consumed within 24 hours, they are most effective. Ella, like the copper IUD, can be used within five days of intercourse. Take both doses of combination birth control tablets within 72 hours if you’re using them.
For avoiding pregnancy in overweight women, Plan B is more successful than most other kinds of emergency contraception. Every year, around 6 out of 10 women who weigh 300 pounds or more become pregnant. Because Plan B’s effectiveness is dependent on a woman’s weight, there are several instances in which it may be ineffective for these ladies. If the woman has an IUD, for example, she has already begun her period, or her IUD will inhibit fertilization.
Plan B’s effectiveness may be harmed by weight and BMI, although additional research is needed to establish this. There’s no reason not to use Plan B right now if you need it. If you have any doubts about its efficacy, consult a doctor or other healthcare expert to discover more about the best option for you. Remember that just because something isn’t as effective as it could be doesn’t imply it won’t work at all.
Is this a sign that Plan B won’t work?
Regardless of body weight, Plan B still offers considerable protection against pregnancy. Even studies that indicate a difference in its effectiveness find that those who utilize it correctly have a low overall pregnancy rate. As a result, if a person with a higher BMI uses Plan B to avoid pregnancy, there is a good chance it will work.
Is Plan B effective if you’re 200 pounds?
Even if you’re over the recommended weight limit for Plan B (155 pounds), it’s still safe to take morning-after tablets. Although there’s a potential they won’t be as effective, there’s no danger to your health.
What is the best morning-after pill for overweight people?
Plan B or EContra EZ is the first option (Levonorgestrel). The most effective dose of levonorgestrel is for women with a BMI of less than 25. It is ineffective in women with a BMI of 30 or higher. When taken as soon as feasible after unprotected intercourse, levonorgestrel is most effective.
Is it necessary for me to take two Plan B pills?
There is no limit to how many times a person can use Plan B, sometimes known as the emergency contraceptive pill. It can be used as often as needed to avoid an unintended pregnancy.
If you take four Plan B pills in a month, what happens?
Taking the morning-after pill as often as necessary is not harmful or risky. However, because it does not perform as well as other methods of birth control, it is not the greatest technique to use on a regular basis (like condoms or the pill).
Is it possible that Plan B will make you infertile?
No matter how many times you take Plan B, it has no effect on your future fertility. Plan B, on the other hand, should not be used as a long-term birth control method because it might induce irregular bleeding, headaches, and exhaustion.
How much overweight is considered obese?
Obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 to 39.9 for adults. Adults having a BMI of 40 or more are classified as severely obese. Morbid obesity is defined as a weight gain of more than 100 pounds (45 kilograms).
Is there anyone who has gotten pregnant after using Plan B?
After unprotected sex, an estimated 0.6 to 2.6 percent of women who use the morning-after pill will still become pregnant. After a Refinery29 journalist published her tale of becoming pregnant despite using emergency contraception, the topic of what people know – and don’t know – about the morning-after pill has gotten a lot of attention.