You're not my doctor or a magician but... should I take plan B?
January 12, 2014 3:56 PM   Subscribe

I had drunk but protected sex last night. (yay!) I haven't had sex since I had an abortion 2 years ago. (not so yay!) I am also dealing with secondary amenorrhea due to diet. I know I'm being insanely nervous for no reason but now just to be safe I want to take Plan B. Is this ok? Will it make the Amenorrhea "worse"? Is that even possible? So. many. things. calm me down?

To make an extremely long story "short"
I had a medical abortion 2 years ago followed by a very awful breakup. After that it was business as usual, I regained my monthly normal period and checked out fine at the OBGYN etc etc. a few months after that, I decided to start "clean eating" and exercising. I lost my period and have not had one for almost a year which I'm working on fixing. I've been to various doctors but still have not gotten monthly period back. I was preparing to get on BC to fix this next month. but ON to my question. Last night I had sex. for the first time in 2 years since the abortion incident. yep. 2 years. 2 long lonely-stay at home and watch lifetime on friday night- sex free years.

He used a condom. I have no reason to believe anything went wrong or that there was a hole or anything. But we had been drinking and I'm being crazy and paranoid because of what happened last time. I went and bought Plan B and wanted to take it. Just in case. I'm not on birth control. I know I probably do not need to but I'm obsessive and nervous and feel like I should take it. just to shut my mind up! But now that I'm about to take it I'm worried that it could cause issues because I have Secondary Amenorrhea and that it could just delay or make that worse. (Is that even possible?)

This is basically just a mess and I'm being crazy and afraid and I'm kind of in shock that it even happened last night.

Someone just tell me to take the pill, eat ice cream and that it will all be ok.
It's been a rough past 2 years. I'm ready to start dating and having fun again. I just need to stop being so nervous about it all.

but really, ladies, has anyone had anything similar happen to them?

Oh and side note:
any tips on how to get over the fear of having sex again after abortion? I know even after I get on birth control I'm still going to be worried about unplanned pregnancies. what can I say? I'm a capricorn.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

I cannot advise you on Plan B. I'll let more knowledgeable voices than mine speak up on that front.

But I *will* tell you that I went on the pill in high school... not because I was sexually active (never, not even once, not even close) but because I had incredible anxiety about becoming pregnant anyway. Recurring nightmares kind of thing. It sounds like this might also be a good move for you.
posted by Andrhia at 4:12 PM on January 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Plan B is essentially just a megadose of the pill. If anything, you may experience some "break-through bleeding" (spotting) but it's not going to make your amenorrhea worse--honestly, I'm not even sure what that would mean. Even less of no period is still no period!

I'm also an anxious capricorn, and I can tell you that generally, after a scare like that, your anxiety will get better with time and exposure. However, dietary changes to the point of amenorrhea are troubling, as are the general evidence of racing, anxious thoughts here. I know it's a metafilter cliche, but it might be a good idea to pursue therapy.

Someone just tell me to take the pill, eat ice cream and that it will all be ok.

Just take the pill, eat ice cream, and it will all be okay.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:22 PM on January 12, 2014 [12 favorites]

any tips on how to get over the fear of having sex again after abortion? I know even after I get on birth control I'm still going to be worried about unplanned pregnancies. what can I say? I'm a capricorn.

Discuss the medical side with your doctor, and if you're still feeling anxious and afraid, talk to a therapist.

As for your main question, I'd call a nurse line to discuss it. You'll probably feel a lot better.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 4:34 PM on January 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

Take the pill, eat the ice cream, and it will all be okay.

As far as fear of having sex again: I recommend an IUD. That way it'll always be there, and it's super effective. Plus while you're there talking to your doctor about it, you can talk about your anxiety about becoming pregnant, and figure out how to change your diet to something that doesn't cause amenorrhea.

I had sex. for the first time in 2 years since the abortion incident

That you call it an "incident" and not just an abortion makes me think you might have some unresolved emotions about this, or the breakup, or something. Again, this would be something good to talk about with a doctor.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:36 PM on January 12, 2014 [3 favorites]

I've taken Plan B a few times over the years (maybe 5-6?), and it never delayed my period at all. It did however, make my period come early a few times.

I had an extreme eating disorder in adolescence which messed with my period. It took over 10 years for my period to get fully on track, with many years of oligomenorrhea. Plan B didn't mess with that at all. For the past few years my period has been the most regular it has ever been in my life.

I say take the Plan B just so you can stop worrying. Anxiety feeds on anxiety, and I think it's better not to stress yourself out needlessly.
posted by cairdeas at 4:53 PM on January 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

This would be a great question to ask Planned Parenthood's extremely helpful online chat:

I've taken Plan B before with no noticeable effects on my period.
As far as ice cream, duh, but also eat something substantial enough to guard your tummy from a potential stomach ache.

And if you don't take it, hey, honestly it's a good thing for a sexually active person to have on hand so you don't have to worry about trying to hunt it down in a situation when you may need it for more than piece of mind.
posted by rubster at 6:08 PM on January 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

The only way to make the amenorrhea 'worse' is to be on an overly-calorie restricted diet, meaning that your body stops having a period because you are literally starving and it thinks you can't spare any physiologic resource. Secondary amenorrhea is one of the diagnostic criteria for anorexia nervosa. I'm glad you're seeking help for your dietary issue. If you're having trouble with a primary care physician, consider seeing a specialist.

That aside - please do take the Plan B if it will put your mind at rest. I can totally understand why you'd be freaked out by this given your history. It's good that you used a barrier method of protection, and it's good that you're ready to be in the dating game and getting some action! Try to accentuate the positive here - you're doing everything right!
posted by treehorn+bunny at 7:03 PM on January 12, 2014 [5 favorites]

The odds of you getting pregnant if you had sex with a condom that didn't break and didn't fall off or spill in you at the end are EXTREMELY slim.

Add a dose of Plan B to this situation and the odds that you will get pregnant go from extremely slim to probably another order of magnitude less likely.

That said, nothing is certain and for future reference, you should know that there are multiple studies showing that Plan B is ineffective in preventing pregnancy if a woman has already ovulated.

I am not a your doctor. I am not an expert. But based on what I do know, it seems to me that Plan B is an unnecessary but harmless measure to take in this situation. If it gives you peace of mind, I suppose there is no reason not to take it and eat your ice cream and not worry. I would also say that you could not take it, still eat your ice cream, and still not worry.

As for your general fear of getting pregnant, even if you're using tested and reliable contraception, it sounds like you still are carrying a lot of unresolved feelings from what happened 2 years ago. I would advise you not to simply dismiss it as a result of you "being a capricorn".

Seek counseling or talk with trusted friends about your feelings and about the feelings you had at the time that you had the abortion. With any traumatic experience, often, even if it is painful to do so, recounting it and talking through it repeatedly in a safe space is a very good way to move past the unresolved feelings.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 7:22 PM on January 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

I would take the pill, eat the ice cream, double up on my birth control, and remind myself that it's okay. It will all be okay.
posted by moira at 7:32 PM on January 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

It will be okay. Take the pill with a non-dairy, gentle food to help with digestion. Wait a bit, and eat ice cream.

From the sound of things, you won't feel completely calm, so go ahead and order some pregnancy test strips for several days out. Use one every few days for the next month if you want. Given your condition, I think you'd continue to wonder otherwise, and this'll save you a bundle.

any tips on how to get over the fear of having sex again after abortion? I know even after I get on birth control I'm still going to be worried about unplanned pregnancies

Yes, therapy, but also pill/IUD/whatever, plus condoms, plus spermicide for as long as you still feel anxious. Overkill? So what. Being a responsible and cautious sexually-active person is better than being trapped by fear. Therapy can help you understand why the abortion was so traumatic--this is important--but you don't have to wait until that's sorted out to show yourself that sex does not automatically equal pregnancy.

If it matters, I'm speaking from experience. I had an abortion when I was 18. At 36, I can accept that and still really not want another one, so I'm careful. You can do this, and it will be okay.
posted by whoiam at 9:37 PM on January 12, 2014 [5 favorites]

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