Q         I am a CNM and I recently had two patients with the identical problem, ectopic pregnancy after using Plan B.  Is there an increased rate of ectopic pregnancies after using Plan B?


A:        Below is the paragraph on ectopic pregnancy following use of emergency contraceptive pills:

Ectopic pregancy:  Available evidence suggests that emergency contraceptive pills do NOT increase the chance that a pregnancy following ECP use will be ectopic; moreover, like all contraceptive methods, ECPs reduce the absolute risk of ectopic pregnancy by preventing pregnancy in general. [i] However, ectopic pregnancy can occur following ECP treatment.  Keep this possibility in mind whenever a treatment failure occurs.

[i] Trussell J, Hedley A, Raymond E. Ectopic pregnancy following use of progestin-only emergency contraceptive pills [letter].  J Fam Plann Reprod Health Care 2003; 29:249.

The above paragraph comes from the 2007 (19th) edition of Contraceptive Technology.


Robert A. Hatcher MD, MPH

Emeritus Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics

Emory University School of Medicine

Atlanta, GA

To learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of emergency contraceptive pills, go to: www.managingcontraception.com.   You can order all of these books listed below from our website or by calling 404-875-5001. 

choices_2013_Eng        Managing Contraception Cover Only 2015

Key Words:  ectopic pregnancy, emergency contraceptive pills, Plan B, risk, treatment failure, Contraceptive Technology


Stewart F, Trussell J, Van Look PFA. Emergency contraception IN Hatcher RA, Trussell J, Stewart F et al Contraceptive Technology 18th edition: page 290, Ardent Media Inc. 2004 

Current Books:

Contraceptive Technology 20th edition

Managing Contraception 2015-2016 edition

Choices 2014 edition