Can i take plan b after 5 days

What is Plan B?

Plan B, also known as the “morning-after pill,” is an emergency contraceptive pill designed to help prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. Sometimes referred to as “the day after pill,” Plan B can be taken up to five days after unprotected sex. Plan B does not terminate an existing pregnancy, but it does reduce the chance of pregnancy if taken within the suggested time frame.

Let’s dive deeper into Plan B and figure out if it can be taken after 5 days.

How does Plan B work?

Plan B is also known as emergency contraception or “the morning after pill.” It contains a higher dose of the hormone levonorgestrel than regular birth control pills and can prevent pregnancy when taken within a specific time frame after unprotected intercourse.

Plan B works mainly by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary and decreasing sperm movement, making it difficult for them to meet the egg. It does not contain estrogen or progesterone and therefore does not affect existing pregnancies; rather it prevents conception.

The most effective time to take Plan B is within 72 hours (three days) from unprotected intercourse, as soon as possible. The sooner you take it, the more effective it will be but there are also studies showing that some efficacy may be seen up to 120 hours (five days) after unprotected sex. It is important to note that while Plan B may reduce your chances of becoming pregnant, it will not protect you against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It should only be used in case of an emergency, such as when an individual experiences contraceptive failure or neglects to use protection during sexual intercourse.

When should Plan B be taken?

Plan B, also known as the morning after pill, is a highly effective form of emergency contraception. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Plan B should be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex to help prevent an unwanted pregnancy. But when should you take Plan B after 5 days? Let’s take a closer look.

Is it effective after 5 days?

Plan B (levonorgestrel) is a type of emergency contraception, or “morning-after pill”, that can be taken after having unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. It is most effective when taken as soon as possible within 72 hours (3 days) of having unprotected sex. However, it can be used up to 120 hours (5 days) after unprotected sex, but the drug’s effectiveness decreases with each passing day. Even though the effectiveness drops after 5 days, Plan B still has a chance of preventing pregnancy if taken within the 5 day window.

If you suspect that you may have been exposed to a risk of a pregnancy and if more than 5 days have passed, it is recommended that you see your healthcare provider to discuss other options for emergency contraception besides Plan B. Additionally, other methods such as an intrauterine device (IUD), or continuous birth control pills may be more effective at preventing pregnancy than Plan B in some instances and can generally be used beyond 5 days from the time of unprotected intercourse.

Potential Side Effects

Plan B is a form of emergency contraception that is most effective when taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex. However, it can still be taken up to 5 days after unprotected sex. While it can be a very effective form of contraception, it does come with potential side effects that are important to be aware of before taking it.

Let’s delve into the possible side effects of taking Plan B:

What are the risks of taking Plan B after 5 days?

The risk of taking Plan B after 5 days is that it may be less effective in preventing pregnancy. Although the efficacy of Plan B has not been tested beyond five days, it is known that its active ingredient, levonorgestrel, starts to break down in the body after a certain amount of time. It is therefore important to take the pill as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse or other potential contraceptive failure.

Plan B can also cause other side effects such as nausea and dizziness which should be taken into consideration when evaluating potential risks. In addition, it has been noted to cause an increase in menstrual cramps and bleeding which can be uncomfortable for some individuals.

Though taking Plan B more than five days after unprotected intercourse may not stop you from becoming pregnant, it can have a beneficial effect if you have had unprotected sex within 5 days – any chance of pregnancy can be reduced by 75%. However, it’s important to note that Plan B will not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The only way to prevent STI transmission is through the use of Barrier contraception (condoms) or abstinence.

Alternatives to Plan B

Plan B is an emergency contraception pill which can be taken up to five days after unprotected intercourse. However, taking this pill can be preventative for some and for others, an alternative might be more suitable.

This section will discuss all the alternatives to Plan B that are available:

Emergency contraception

Emergency contraception (EC)—sometimes called “the morning-after pill” or “Plan B”—is a form of birth control that can be used after having unprotected sex. It is most effective when taken within 72 hours (3 days) after having unprotected sex, but can still be effective if taken up to 120 hours (5 days) afterwards.

There are several emergency contraception options available, and each can help to prevent pregnancy by a different process. Here are some of the options:

  • Copper Intrauterine Device (IUD): The copper IUD is a small T-shaped device that is inserted into the uterus by a healthcare professional up to five days after unprotected sex. Once inserted, it prevents implantation of an egg by creating an environment that is toxic to sperm and eggs. This method is over 99% effective in preventing pregnancy and can provide continuous protection against pregnancy for up to 10 years.
  • Emergency contraceptives pills (ECPs): There are two types of Emergency Contraceptive Pills: One type contains only progestin hormone and one type contains a combination of both the hormones progestin and estrogen. ECPs work by delaying ovulation, inhibiting fertilization, or preventing implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterus. Progestin-only pills are available without a prescription but must be taken within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse for maximum effectiveness; combination pills must be prescribed by a healthcare professional but may be taken within 5 days of unprotected intercourse for maximum effectiveness.
  • Injectable contraceptives: Another option for emergency contraception is an injectable contraceptive containing the hormone depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA). This form of EC should be administered by a trained health care provider as soon as possible, but no later than 120 hours (5 days) after unprotected intercourse; it works primarily by delaying or inhibiting ovulation and reducing sperm motility so fertilization does not occur or implantation does not take place in the uterus upon fertilization. It also inhibits progesterone, which stops an already implanted egg from expanding further into the uterus wall if there has been prior intercourse before taking EC with DMPA.

Long-term contraception

Long-term contraception methods, such as hormonal implants and intrauterine devices, are very effective and require minimal effort. The implant, which is inserted under the skin of the upper arm, and the copper IUD—a device that sits in the uterus to prevent pregnancy—can last from three to 10 years. Both of these contraceptive options have few side effects, can be easily reversed and provide protection from pregnancy for years with no additional effort on your part.

Another long-term option is contraceptive injection. An injection of hormone progestin is given every 12 weeks; it works by preventing eggs from being released regularly by your ovaries. It’s a very convenient form of contraception but requires an injection every three months for prevention, so it may not be suitable if you cannot return on time for your injections.

These methods can be used in instead of Plan B if they are preferred; however, since they do not offer any protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), other forms of protection such as condoms should still be used if necessary.


After considering the pros and cons of taking emergency contraception after five days, it appears that it is still possible to take emergency contraception after five days and may be just as effective as taking it earlier. While emergency contraception is still most effective when taken as soon as possible, taking it after five days may still offer some protection against pregnancy.


In conclusion, Plan B is a form of emergency contraception. It can be taken up to five days after unprotected intercourse or a contraceptive failure in order to help prevent pregnancy. Although it is effective, it is not ideal to rely on this method as your sole form of birth control.

The best way to prevent unwanted pregnancy is to use regular and reliable forms of contraception such as condoms, birth control pills, injections or implants. Furthermore, speaking with a healthcare professional can help you understand the risks and benefits associated with different methods of contraception so that you can make an informed decision.