Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


When it’s time to go to plan Plan B: Info on the emergency contraceptive

Hey Hump Day readers!

Many of you have been sending in questions about Plan B, the emergency contraceptive pill. So this week, I’m going to give you the low-down on Plan B: the basic information, where you can find it on campus, and answers to your FAQs about how some campus “activities” like drinking can influence the effectiveness of Plan B.

Here are, more or less, the basics from the Plan B website:

  • Plan B used to be two pills, which you were supposed to take twelve hours apart from one another. Now, it’s only one pill–which means no more worrying about when to take the second one.
  • Plan-B is a backup form of birth control, and should not be used as a primary form. Why? Because the amount of hormones in Plan B is enough to prevent pregnancy, but aren’t nearly as effective as regular birth control pills at preventing pregnancy on a daily basis.
  • The sooner you take Plan B, the better it works. You have up to 72 hours to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex if you take Plan B.
  • Sperm can live inside of a woman for 5 to 6 days–which means that if you have sex 5 days before you ovulate, you can still get pregnant.
  • Plan B is available over the counter for people age seventeen and up. In Wisconsin, you’ll have to show a valid ID or driver’s license, so make sure to bring it with you when you head to the pharmacy. If you’re under seventeen, you’ll need a prescription from a doctor to get Plan B.
  • There are some side effects, including “changes in your period, nausea, lower abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, dizziness, and breast tenderness” that can occur from taking Plan B.
  • You won’t know if Plan B worked until you get your period again. If, after taking Plan B, your period is still a week or more late, you may be pregnant.
  • Plan B won’t work disturb a current pregnancy–it’s not an abortion pill.
  • Plan B won’t protect you from STI’s, so if you had unprotected sex, you should also be sure to get checked.
    If things didn’t go quite as planned last weekend (if the condom broke, or you haven’t been taking your birth control pills consistently, or you just plain got drunk and fucked somebody without using protection), don’t panic just yet.


Instead, head to one of the following places for Plan B:

UW Health Pharmacies

600 Highland Ave.; 608-263-1280

Hilldale Shopping Center; 608-263-6900

1 S. Park St.; 608-287-2400

20 S. Park St.; 608-287-2410

2880 University Ave.; 608-263-9393


Community Pharmacy

341 State St.; 608-251-4454



311 East Campus Mall (by the SAC)


Walgreens locations with a 24-hour pharmacy:

606 South Whitney Way; 608-274-1311

3710 E Washington Ave; 608-242-9483


And finally, on to your FAQs about Plan B:

Does alcohol make Plan B less effective?

Nope. But it has been known to lower inhibitions, increasing the likelihood that you may need Plan B.


Can men buy Plan B?

Yes, if the guy is over seventeen. In Wisconsin, remember that he’ll have to show an ID or driver’s license at the pharmacy.


What if I throw up after taking Plan B?

Consult your doctor right away if you vomit within two hours after taking Plan B.


Is Plan B the same thing as the “morning after pill?”

Yes, but emergency contraception should be taken immediately after unprotected sex (you don’t have to and shouldn’t wait until morning).

‘Til next week!

Send Mary and Sam your deepest, darkest sex secrets at [email protected].

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