PSA: That Is NOT a Plan B Pill Inside Your Pregnancy Test
Teens have taken to social media wondering if some pregnancy test kits include the morning-after pill. File this as a complete myth that requires debunking, but parents should be aware.
Finding the over-the-counter pregnancy test that's right for you can be a daunting chore. After all, the shelves are filled with a crazy number of options, all boasting a variety of high-tech features that promise to deliver advanced accuracy and speed. After dropping $20+ on a kit, you might feel like you've basically purchased the pregnancy test equivalent of an iPhone.
But just as pregnancy tests don't (yet) come with USB cables, they don't include anything else above and beyond a standard kit to test your urine—and definitely not a morning-after pill.
Still, kids on the popular video-sharing app TikTok, among other social media sites, have been taking apart pregnancy tests and asking if the moisture-absorbing desiccant tablet is, in fact, Plan B One Step, or the morning-after pill.
As eyebrow-raising as it might sound, various pockets of the internet and social media have been buzzing with the thought that some pregnancy test kits include the morning-after pill. One example: In the Q&A section of the site WeHaveKids.com, a user asked, "There's a rumor that the tablet in the test is a Plan B. What is the little pill thing inside a pregnancy test, really?"
What the Pregnancy Test Makers Say
Parents.com reached out to Clearblue, and a spokesperson for the company explained via email that they became aware of the rumors "through user-generated videos on social media platforms."
Clearblue went on to note: "Clearblue pregnancy tests do NOT contain Plan B pills. All our tests have a small desiccant tablet which is included to absorb moisture and should not be eaten. If accidentally ingested we ask people to please seek medical advice and for any further questions contact our careline at 1-800-321-3279."
Clearblue's website echoes this, stating that "all our tests contain a small desiccant tablet which is included to absorb moisture and should not be eaten."
Our investigation found that the majority of the buzz appears to be based on TikTok. In addition to clips created by kids wondering if the tablet is actually emergency contraception, there are clips by teens trying to set the record straight. Many appear under the hashtags #clearbluechallenge, #clearblue, and #planb.
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The Bottom Line
Emergency contraception is not included in pregnancy tests. Plan B (which costs $50) and generic versions of the morning-after pill (which run anywhere from $15-45) are available over-the-counter at most drugstores and pharmacies. You can buy it regardless of your age or gender.
Cynthia Cork, M.D., an obstetrician-gynecologist in Fountain Valley, California explains that the lack of an age restriction—which was taken off of Plan B in 2013—makes it easier for sexually-active teens to acquire should they need it. "Plan B is the only emergency contraceptive that's available over-the-counter, without going through a doctor or pharmacist," Dr. Cork says. It works best when its taken within 72 hours, or three days, of unprotected sex, but you can take it for up to five days following.
Teaching comprehensive sex education and discussing safe sex are two preliminary steps parents and schools can take to reduce the chances that tweens and teens will need to shop for a pregnancy test—or Plan B—in the first place. That said, accidents happen. When they do, tweens and teens should know that these family planning items are sold separately.