Too Heavy For Plan B?

Too Heavy For Plan B?

This is a scary fact—the morning-after pill may not work for overweight women.  

Studies done on a morning-after pill in France found that the pill doesn’t work for women over a certain weight.  French manufacturer, HRA Pharma, found that the pill lost effectiveness when women reach about 165 pounds. If that’s not distressing enough, the morning-after pill can stop working completely when a woman weighs 176 pounds or more. 

According to the Center for Disease Control in 2007 to 2010 the average American woman weighs 166.2. That would put the average woman at risk of not having the morning-after pill work for them. 

The morning-after pill is an emergency contraception pill that can prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. It is a form of birth control, to be used in emergency situations for example if another form of birth control wasn’t used, or if there was misuse of another birth control method. 

The research was done on a pill names Norlevo, which is an equivalent to the Plan B One-Step pill here in the United States.  

There are other emergency contraception choices available to women who are heavier than 176 pounds. One option includes the ella® pill which works on women over 176 pounds, but may also have weight requirements. Also, the ParaGard® copper IUD, which is an intrauterine device that may also work for women in an emergency situation. 

That is not the only concern for overweight women when it comes to birth control. 

There has been research in the past that shows that women who weigh 155 pounds or more have a higher risk of oral contraceptive failure. A study published in the journal Contraception, by scientists says it has “identified a potential biological mechanism that could explain why oral contraceptives may be less effective at preventing pregnancy in obese women, as some epidemiological studies have indicated.”

Read more about this finding about the morning-after pill from Mother Jones

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