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Plan B vs a weeks worth of birth control pills in 1 day?

By November 4, 2014 - 11:39am
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The first day of my last period began on Oct. 8 (give or take 1 day). I have a 7 day cycle. I did not refill my birth control RX until the 24th of this month. I had intercourse on the 23rd & 24Tth. Later that day I picked up my RX and took the entire first week of pills at once, and then continued taking 1 a day regularly after that. How great of a risk is there that I'll get pregnant? I figured that might work similarly to the way Plan B does. Can anyone help provide me with any info/answers PLEASE?

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Hi tmv179 and thanks for bringing your concerns to EmpowHER.

Emergency contraceptive pills contain the hormone levonorgestrel  which a common ingredient in some birth control pills. The dosage of this hormone in an ecp is higher than that in a birth control pill and the hormone estrogen, which is a common ingredient in birth control pills, is typically not used in ecps.

Taking a week's worth of birth control pills at one time is essentially an overdose. There may or may not be side effects. The possible side effects include

Breast tenderness

Discoloration of urine


Excessive vaginal bleeding (2 - 7 days following the overdose)


Emotional changes

Nausea and vomiting


The overdose is unlikely to be life-threatening but if you do feel like you are seriously ill at any point you should contact your local area poison control center for advice.

In terms of whether the overdose will be effective in preventing pregnancy we do not have any clinical guidelines as this is not a common or recommended practice. We can tell you that emergency contraceptives, used as prescribed, reduce the risk of pregnancy by about 75-85%.

Perhaps some members of the community have done what you've done and can offer additional information.

Hope this helps,


November 4, 2014 - 5:41pm
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