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Is taking Plan B a couple or even countless times bad for your long-term health? Here's what the experts say. While it's perfectly safe to take the morning-after pill, should you be concerned if you've taken it more than once, or even countless times?

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Plan B, commonly known as "the morning-after pill," can prevent you from becoming pregnant.

Birth control

And while there's no limit to how many times you can take Plan B, that doesn't mean you should treat it like a standard birth control pill that you take regularly. Contrary to popular belief, it's not an abortion pill and cannot terminate a preexisting pregnancy. Instead, you should only take Plan B in an emergency after you've had unprotected sex because either you didn't use protection, your form of birth control failed during intercourse, or you missed a dose of your oral contraceptive pill that day.

You only need one dose for each episode of unprotected sex. If you become nauseous and vomit shortly after taking Plan B, this is a case where you should take another dose, since the pill didn't have the chance to really system and do its job.

Additionally, let's say you had unprotected sex again, a day or two after taking Plan B. In that case, you should consider taking another dose, since Plan B is really only meant to prevent pregnancy for that one instance of unprotected sex that's already happened. In other words, the Plan B you took for that first episode won't cover you for the next one. According to the Plan B site's FAQs"If you have already used Plan B, it can be safely used again after another instance of unprotected sex or birth control failure.

Sridhar says the general consensus of doctors is that you should use some type of birth control the next time you have sex, so you won't need to take Plan B again. This being said, she also advises against taking Plan B multiple times a week. While, short-term side effects like headache, fatigue, and nausea can be common, it's not technically medically harmful or dangerous to take multiple doses.

But if you find yourself in this situation, you should strongly consider another type of birth control so you don't find yourself relying on Plan B. Plus, she says that using a different form of birth control properly will be more effective at preventing pregnancy than Plan B. In other words, if you do need to take Plan B multiple times, you won't build up a tolerance to it like you can with some other medications.

So, if you've had unprotected sex within the last 72 hours and are nervous about an unwanted pregnancy, don't hesitate to take Plan B, the sooner the better.

What it’s like to use the morning-after pill

You can rest assured that your body will be fine in the long run. World globe An icon of the world globe, indicating different international options. Get the Insider App. A leading-edge research firm focused on digital transformation.

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More Button Icon Circle with three vertical dots. Ashley Laderer. Our stories are reviewed by medical professionals to ensure you get the most accurate and useful information about your health and wellness.

For more information, visit our medical review board. While there's no limit to how many times you can take Plan B, that doesn't mean you should treat it like a standard birth control pill that you take regularly. You only need one dose of Plan B for each episode of unprotected sex.

Taking more than one dose won't increase your chances of avoiding pregnancy. If you become nauseous and vomit shortly after taking Plan B, you should take another dose, since the pill didn't have a chance to system and do its job. If you had unprotected sex, again, a day or two after taking Plan B, you should consider taking another dose.

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This article was reviewed by Olivia P. This story is part of Insider's guide on Birth Control. Stay up to date with what you want to know.

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