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Should I take Plan B?

Hi there,

I have a Paragard IUD, and as far as I know it's positioned correctly (at least the strings feel normal, and I don't have any reason to believe that it's moved or anything). My cycle is usually quite regular (between 29 and 32 days) and I think I either ovulated yesterday or will ovulate today, based on my normal cycle length and some mid-cycle cramping I've been having. I stupidly had sex last night with my boyfriend and didn't make him pull out (I usually try to have NO sex during ovulation but in the rare instance that we do, I ask him to pull out -- I know it's no guarantee, but it makes me feel better somehow if he withdraws). Anyway, I'm freaking out today and am considering taking Plan B, but I don't know what it will do to my cycle if I take it BEFORE or AT THE SAME TIME as ovulation. Will it just delay my period? Or will I have bleeding right away? I took Plan B a few years ago because of a broken condom but I can't remember what the experience was like. My birthday is in two days and then I'm leaving for a trip at the end of the week, so I'd prefer not to feel like absolute crap for all that stuff, but at the same time, I'll of course do anything not to get pregnant. Maybe I'm just being paranoid -- but reading about the people who have gotten pregnant with their copper IUD makes me want to be extra careful.

Thank you!


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 25th, 2010 04:29 pm (UTC)
Plan B delays ovulation. So if you have already ovulated or are currently ovulating it won't do anything for pregnancy protection. So I wouldn't bother at this point and just trust in your IUD.
Oct. 25th, 2010 04:52 pm (UTC)

Also, keep in mind plenty of women use only a copper IUD and never have a pregnancy . You will read loads of failure stories on the internet (people mostly come online to complain about things - they rarely report good experiences) - but remember, for every failure story, there are several hundred women whose IUDs have worked perfectly. There's no guarantee, but the odds are your IUD will do what it's supposed to. Also, remember, the copper IUD is also used as emergency contraception.
Oct. 25th, 2010 05:13 pm (UTC)
Okay, I'm calming down a little bit. I was under the impression that Plan B not only delayed ovulation, but also prevented fertilization, in which case there could be a small window during or right after ovulation that in which Plan B could still work.

I know logically that a lot of women have copper IUDs that work just perfectly, but the few women that DO get pregnant, well -- who cares about all the other women who don't get pregnant when you're one of the ones for whom the IUD has failed, you know? I guess I don't trust the odds all that much because my first IUD expelled many years ago, and so I was one of the ones in the minority then. So even though there's no relationship between that situation and now, I feel like I'm doomed when it comes to the efficacy of my IUD and that I'll be one of the ones who gets pregnant while using it, too.

I'm going to ponder this and weigh my options for the next few hours, but I do appreciate your responses! Thank you!
Oct. 25th, 2010 05:37 pm (UTC)
I know where you're coming from - that was my mindset originally as well. I figured, however, pregnancy is a risk no matter what kind of contraception that's being used and that I was okay with a .1% failure rate (or whatever it is for Mirena - less than 1%). I think the failure rate for Paraguard is just below 1%. Both are still more effective than sterilisation - and that was the comparison that clinched it for me.

Remember that the odds of having an expulsion are considerably higher (in terms of statistics) than those of pregnancy. I've seen figures everywhere between 2% and 10% - that's a LOT more likely than pregnancy with an IUD in place. I totally get how you feel - I think I'd be thinking the same thing if that happened to me - but I'd seriously just trust the IUD will work like it should.

I've been watching this community for two years and I've seen exactly 1 Mirena pregnancy and maybe 3 or 4 pregnancies with a Paraguard that was still in place. Someone always has to be that one, but that doesn't mean it's gonna be you. :-)
Oct. 25th, 2010 06:21 pm (UTC)
In addition to wibble42's great advice, keep this in mind-- we are far more likely to hear from the women whose IUDs fail than from the ones whose IUDs work perfectly. Most of us are unlikely to regularly post here just to say "hey, no worries, everything is still good!" So if it seems like you hear a lot of expulsion or pregnancy stories, that's more a function of what this community is for-- to help women who are having trouble-- than an indication that IUDs aren't effective.

And if you compare the statistics, your IUD is far more effective at preventing pregnancy than Plan B.
Oct. 25th, 2010 05:02 pm (UTC)
I don't think you need to take plan b. Maybe think about it like this... you normally rely on two methods of contraception: your iud, and fertility awareness (paired with withdrawal when deemed necessary). The reason to have two methods of contraception, is so that you'll be protected if something goes wrong with one of the methods. So yeah, one of your methods didn't work out, but you've pretty much already planned for this contingency by having a second :) Even better, the contraception method that didn't fail is one of the most effective, least-susceptible to user-error methods out there! While there are people who've gotten pregnant with an IUD, the efficacy of your paragard means it's extremely unlikely. It might seem suspiciously easy to find pregnant-with-IUD stories, but it's just because people don't write stories about how they're still not pregnant this month thanks to their IUD to balance things out.
Oct. 25th, 2010 05:20 pm (UTC)

Thanks for your response. You're probably right -- the stories here, and on other sites, are skewed in favor of horror/accidental pregnancy stories. I suppose that even if I were totally birth control free last night, and I had been ovulating, the chances of me getting pregnant are still something like 30%, right? I mean, even unprotected sex during ovulation does not necessarily = conception. I am trying to not worry about this.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 25th, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC)
100% agreed. The freedom to stop thinking about birth control, was one of my biggest reasons to get an Paragard. It's never occurred to me for a moment to use any other form of birth control -- not to mention that the doctor cleared it with me that I shouldn't ever need to. I wouldn't have gotten an IUD if I wanted to have unsatisfying pull-out sex.

You don't need to worry about this at all. And if you're going to anyway, pick a better back-up method than pulling out.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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