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What is levonorgestrel?

Levonorgestrel is a progestin hormone that is used by women as an emergency contraceptive to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse. It works by preventing ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovaries). It also makes cervical mucus thicker, which makes it less likely that sperm will fertilize an egg. Also, changes in the endometrial lining help prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. You may know this medication by the name Plan B or NextStep.

Continue Learning about Levonorgestrel

Can levonorgestrel be taken more than once?
Stacy Wiegman, PharmDStacy Wiegman, PharmD
It is safe to take levonorgestrel by mouth more than once. However, it is not intended for use as a ...
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Does levonorgestrel interact with other medications or foods?
Stacy Wiegman, PharmDStacy Wiegman, PharmD
Levonorgestrel does not interact with any foods. There are some medications, however, that may mak...
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How does levonorgestrel work to prevent an unwanted pregnancy?
Stacy Wiegman, PharmDStacy Wiegman, PharmD
When taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, levonorgestrel, a progestin hormone, prevents pre...
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Are there any risks in using the levonorgestrel-releasing implant?
Stacy Wiegman, PharmDStacy Wiegman, PharmD
Yes. Progestin, the hormone used in the levonorgestrel-releasing implant, is linked to a higher risk...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.