Levonorgestrel, the primary component of Plan B tablets, is the key female hormones that work to prevent ovulation. Changes can take place in the uterine lining and cervical mucus if Plan B is consumed, making it difficult for the sperms to reach uterus and fertilize the egg. In case of sex without any protection, Plan B tablets can be used to prevent pregnancy. Other times when you can take Plan B are: failure of temporary birth control methods such as breakage of condom or missing the dose of oral pills. If you are wondering how many times you can take Plan B, here is your complete guide.

How Many Times Can You Take Plan B?

Morning after pills are not harmful and you can use them as much as you need, but avoid taking Plan B several times in the same month.

Although the limit is not specified for the emergency contraceptive medicines, healthcare providers recommend that Plan B must not be taken as a regular contraception medicine and should only be used in situations of emergency. This method is not as good as some other contraceptive methods in the prevention of unwanted pregnancy and also doesn't provide protection against sexually transmitted infections. Some of its side effects include nausea and bloating. These pills are comparatively pricey and can also affect your menstrual cycle if used more than once in a cycle. 

Doctors advise that couples should think of a primary contraception form like an implant, IUD, oral pill of contraception or Depo Provera. If you find a need to have contraceptive pills daily, then you must visit your doctor to discuss other available options.

Is It Effective?

If the emergency contraceptive medicine is taken within 24 hours after having sex, 95% of pregnancies can be prevented. If the pill is delayed for further 24 hours, the capacity of Plan B tablet declines by about 85%. The medicine can be effective for 4 days after having an unprotected sex but delaying the intake significantly reduces the effectiveness.

How to Take Plan B

There is no definite answer to the question "how many times can you take plan b". But you can still learn the proper ways to take Plan B for its maximum effectiveness.

WHO and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommend levonorgestrel, 1.5 mg for 5 days after having sex without successful protection. Progestin is also known as levonorgestrel and found in emergency contraceptive pills. There are different brand names for emergency contraceptive pills and you can refer to their details below:

Brand Name

Plan B One-Step

Next Choice/Plan B


Generic Name

Levonorgestrel of 1.5 mg, 1 tablet routine

Levonorgestrel of 0.5 mg, 2 tablet routine



Not required

May available in pharmacies but not as OTC

Require prescription by health specialist


Take 1 tablet immediately after having unprotected sex. Take within 2 days after unprotected sex.

Take 1 tablet immediately after insecure sex, then next dose of 1 tablet after 12 hours. Both tablets can be taken together as well after sex within 5 days.

Take 1 tablet as soon as possible within 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected sex.

Are There Any Risks When Taking Plan B?

Knowing "how many times can you take plan b" is not enough. Even though the medicine is generally safe, it has side effects, too. The morning after pill doesn't suit everyone, avoid taking it if:

  • You have allergies from any component of this medicine.
  • You are already expecting a baby. Before using the pill, confirm that you're not pregnant as the effects are unknown for the baby.
  • You have other medication in use that can reduce the effectiveness of this pill, such as barbiturates.
  • The effectiveness of morning after pill in preventing pregnancy may decrease if you're overweight.
  • You must avoid Ulipristal Acetate (also sold under brand name Ella in US) if you are breastfeeding your child.

Following side effects can be caused by the morning after pill:

  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting and Nausea
  • Head pain
  • Fatigue
  • Tenderness in breast
  • Pain and cramps in lower abdomen
  • Bleeding in between menstrual periods

Is There Any Other Option for Emergency Contraception?

Since you now know the answer to "how many times can you take plan b" and some of its safety concerns, you may look for the alternatives. IUD-Intrauterine Device is a good choice to refrain the egg from implantation and fertilization. IUD is a small contraceptive device that is T-shaped, made of copper and plastic. After unprotected sex, you should start inserting IUD as soon as possible for up to 5 days to prevent pregnancy.

Effectiveness of IUD

The overall effectiveness of IUD is better than emergency contraceptive medicines. It also works as an ongoing contraception method if left inside. Several kinds of IUDs have different effectiveness. Newer IUDs have more copper and are therefore more effective. IUDs work better in the prevention of pregnancy after unplanned sex as compared with emergency medicines.

Other Precautions for IUD

Your doctor will ask about your medical history and check if IUD is suitable for you. If you have the following ailments, you need to avoid IUDs:

  • If you have a chronic pelvic infection due to untreated sexually transmitted infections
  • Womb or cervix abnormalities
  • Irregular vagina bleeding

Also, if you have a heart disease, you must consult your doctor before opting for an IUD. If you think you're pregnant already, don't take the risk. If you're breastfeeding your child, IUD is safe but the risks for certain complications increases, such as pain, damage to womb and infection. If IUD is your regular method, your periods may get longer and heavier with more pain.