Home WomenBirth Control Bleeding After Plan B – Is It Normal or a Side Effect?

Bleeding After Plan B – Is It Normal or a Side Effect?

by Dr. Joe Morales

Plan B—an emergency contraceptive has been designed to prevent a woman from getting pregnant five days after having unprotected sex or after a contraceptive failure.  Bleeding after plan B is common among many women, and can occur at any time within three weeks after a woman has taken the pill.

The Plan B pill comes with 1.5 mg of levonorgestel—considered to be an active ingredient, which principally functions by interfering with the process of implantation, ovulation, and fertilization.

Bleeding after plan B pill

Plan B One-Step Pill

Can plan B make you bleed?

Can you bleed after taking plan B? YES, plan B can make you bleed after taking it. Normally, there should be no reason for you to become worried if you experience bleeding after plan B (an emergency contraceptive also referred to as the morning after pill). Even though it is not a common side effect associated with the pill, the hormones that are present in these pills have been known to cause some women to bleed at the most unexpected of times.

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As such, if this is the cause of your bleeding, you should relax knowing that this is not dangerous, and the bleeding after plan B should go away on its own once you get you to begin your next period. However, it is important to understand that unusual bleeding can also be caused by other factors, which though rare, could end up being more serious.

If you experience additional symptoms such as dizziness or abdominal pain, it is recommended that you get in touch with your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Additionally, contact your physician if this bleeding becomes heavier, lasts more than a couple of days, or in case you become worried that it could be something serious. After you have taken this emergency contraceptive pill, you can expect your next period to start on time, or in some cases a week before, or after the normal dates.

Is it normal to bleed after plan B?

It is normal to bleed after taking plan B, and as such, there is no reason for you to worry in case you experience bleeding after plan B. Even though this side effect is not very common, these pills contain hormones that could influence the hormones that are already present in your body, and may, therefore, cause some women to start bleeding at unexpected times.

According to Healthline.com, approximately twenty-five percent of all women who take plan B emergency contraceptive pills are likely to notice some changes in their menstrual cycle. As mentioned earlier, you need to consult your physician if this bleeding goes on for more than a few days, as it could mean that there is a serious underlying issue.

Plan B effects on your period

From time to time, the emergency contraceptive pill could change the length and time of your next period, which may make your menstrual cycle to come a week early or a week late than you are accustomed to. This is dependent on when you took the emergency contraception.

Early period

Medical experts and physicians have observed that women who take the plan B full dose at any one time within the first three weeks of their cycle often get their periods sooner than they were expecting. Additionally, they noted that the earlier a woman took this pill, the sooner their cycles started.

Longer menstrual cycles

If taken three days prior to ovulation, the menstrual period duration is likely to increase significantly. In addition, the duration of the period will also be longer if you take plan B two days after you have completed the ovulation phase. There are women who could end up experiencing inter-menstrual bleeding, which is more common when this pill is taken during your pre-ovulatory phase.

Why am I bleeding after taking plan B pill?

Coming to the realization that you are at risk of becoming pregnant is always a scary experience for any woman. You will find that the duration leading up to your next period will usually be filled with lots of stress, anxiety, and worry.

Luckily, there exist emergency contraception pills, which have been known to reduce the likelihood of getting an unwanted pregnancy, more so when it is taken a short period after engaging in unprotected sex. The older versions of the morning after pill were known to contain progestin and estrogen, while the newer, more modern pills only contain progestin, and therefore tend to have fewer side effects.

Given that this morning after pill is known to disrupt your hormonal signaling system, which is responsible for regulating your menstrual cycle, it does not come as a surprise to find that many women report bleeding after plan b. The bleeding may result in having a period that comes a week early or late, as well as spotting. Additionally, it could also result in periods that are lighter or heavier.

Often, the first period after you have taken an emergency contraception pill occurs within one week of your normal timing. When the period is delayed, many women end experiencing a lot of anxiety and worry, as they fear that they could be pregnant. It is vital to note that this morning after pill will in no way interfere with urinary pregnancy tests or the normal pregnancy tests, which you may need to take to confirm whether you are pregnant or not.

According to Dr. Axe, up-to 16% of women who have taken plan B report spotting within seven days after they have taken the emergency contraceptive pill.

This irregular spotting will in many cases be very mild, even though it is still bothersome given that it is very unexpected. Most doctors recommend that their patients wear a tampon or liner after they have taken the morning after pill as a way of protecting against irregular spotting.

It is important to understand that the bleeding changes that occur after you have taken this morning after pill is in no way permanent. Actually, these bleeding changes only last for that particular cycle when the emergency contraception pill was taken and will be resolved by the time the next menstrual cycle begins.

Side effects of Plan B birth control pill

Plan B is a type of emergency contraception pill, which helps prevent pregnancy after a woman has engaged in unprotected sex. Even though it is at times referred to as the morning after pill, you do not have to wait until the next morning for you to take it. It has been seen that this pill is more effective when taken as soon as possible.

Over the years, many women have taken emergency contraception without encountering any serious complications. However, it is always a good idea to consult your physician about possible interactions that this pill may have with other medicines that you are currently taking.

Plan B has been seen to be safe for women who want to protect against the risk of unwanted pregnancy. If you know that you are already pregnant, ensure you do not take this pill as it may end up interfering with your pregnancy. Some of the potential side effects that may come from taking the plan B One-Step pill include:

  1. Vomiting
  2. Nausea
  3. Headaches
  4. Menstrual changes
  5. Dizziness
  6. Fatigue
  7. Breast tenderness
  8. Abdominal pain

Any woman who vomits within two hours after taking this pill should get in touch with their healthcare providers. The healthcare provider will advise you on whether you need to repeat the dose or not. As mentioned earlier, you may experience unexpected bleeding after taking Plan B One-Step.

The bleeding should, however, go away or subside by the time your next period is starting. There is, however, a probability that this pill could make your next period to be lighter or heavier than what you are used to experiencing with your normal cycle. In case you do not get your period within three weeks, it is recommended that you get yourself a pregnancy test as a way of confirming whether you are pregnant, or whether your periods are late.

Heavy bleeding, a week, 5 or 4 days after

Heavy bleeding seven days, 5 or 4 days after taking plan B is considered normal. The bleeding is occasioned by the shedding of your uterine lining, which is exactly what plan B was designed to do. You will find that your next period will pick up in the following month.

However, it is recommended that you do not engage in unprotected sex until your normal cycle is back. If possible, ensure that you get on a birth control method, as Plan B One-Step should only be used as an emergency method, and not as a regular method of birth control. It is always best to practice safe sex as it also reduces your chances of contracting an STD.

Is bleeding after taking plan B pill my period?

No, bleeding after plan B is not your period. After taking plan B, it is normal for women to experience bleeding and spotting due to the progestin hormone that is contained in the pill. Bleeding can occur within seven days after you have taken this emergency contraception. However, the bleeding should come to an end by the time your next period is starting.

In a bid to understand the effects that emergency contraception pills have on the bleeding patterns in a woman, researchers and experts in this field that include the following have conducted a number of studies. In the recent past, researchers have conducted a number of studies aimed at finding out how progestin (found in emergency contraceptive pills) such as Plan B One-Step interferes with a woman’s bleeding pattern. Even though the results obtained in each study were different, the researchers were able to establish that indeed there was a change in the woman’s monthly menstrual period.

In one study, it was established that the women who took the emergency contraceptive pill within two days of their ovulation got their periods as they expected. On average, it was established that women often begin their periods a day early after they have used an emergency contraception pill within two days of ovulating.

Additionally, the menstrual period was seen to increase significantly when the ECPs were taken three days before ovulation started. In the course of the treatment cycle, it was seen that close to fifteen percent of women reported intermenstrual bleeding. When taken during the follicular phase, it has been seen that ECPs reduce the cycle significantly as compared to the normal cycle.

Bleeding after plan B pill, am I pregnant?

Plan B One-Step has been known to cause cramping and bleeding when taken by a woman who wants to prevent against getting pregnant. If planning to use it, you should understand that Plan B is an extremely high dosage birth control pill, and you should in no form or shape take it casually as you are only supposed to take in the event of an emergency such as when a condom breaks when having sex, or if you had unprotected safe.

Bleeding after Plan B should not be taken to mean that you are pregnant. Even though it is normal for a woman to bleed when implantation has taken place, there is a need to understand that unexpected bleeding is one of the side effects associated with taking Plan B. As such, you should not be worried if you notice bleeding after Plan B. As such, the best thing for you to do would be waiting until your next period is due. Note that the period could come late by up to seven days, depending on when you took the pill. If the period does not come around, ensure you take a pregnancy test to confirm the results, and then get started on a birth control method.


  1. http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Pregnancy-Am-I-Pregnant/Bleeding-Plan-B-Whats-going-on/show/1297877
  2. http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Womens-Choice/Implantation-bleeding-or-plan-b-symptoms/show/38477
  3. http://ec.princeton.edu/questions/bleed.html
  4. http://www.newhealthadvisor.com/Bleeding-After-Plan-B.html

Leave a Comment


Jane A Jul 4, 2017 - 6:49 am

I had unprotected sex and my boyfriend wasn’t sure if he had pulled out all the way or not so we just took plan B to be safe. A few days later I had started my “period” so I thought but it was only a little bit of blood and lasted for like a day or two… what does this mean? It was a dark reddish brown color.

catrinamvula Sep 1, 2018 - 9:48 am

I had sex two days after my period then I took emergency pill then on 14 I had sex the same week I took emergency pill on 15 then I started period for seven days. On 30th I had bleeding till on 1st September but the blood is coming out slowly not heavy as after I took pill ..what is this? I might be pregnant?