Is There Plan B Inside a Pregnancy Test?

Pregnancy test

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Rumors can spread like wildfire in the online world, and when they are not true, it can be downright dangerous. Take, for example, the recent viral TikToks that falsely claim that there is a Plan B (Levonorgestrel) pill hidden inside some pregnancy tests.

And while there is a small tablet within Clearblue pregnancy tests, it is not Plan B.

"What people found inside the pregnancy test wasn't a contraceptive but a desiccant with the shape of a pill that is used to eliminate the moisture on the surrounding environment of the device and thus protect its integrity," says Cristina Nunez, a pharmacist based in New York State.

Ahead, we'll break down some important myths vs. facts, along with what experts have to say about the dangers of this particular rumor.

Where Did This Rumor Start?

The rumor that there could Plan B hidden inside pregnancy tests started with a Tiktok. The video shows a girl cutting open a Clearblue pregnancy test to reveal what looks like a pill within the tests' plastic casing. The caption says that the capsule is Plan B, an emergency contraceptive.

The video went viral on Tiktok under the hashtags #ClearBlueChallenge and #PlanBinClearBlueTest. It caught the attention of some doctors who replied with their own Tiktoks to dispell the myth and warn people not to consume the tablet found inside the tests. Eventually, Clearblue released a statement of their own to clarify that there is no Plan B inside their tests and that it would be dangerous to eat the desiccant.

What Is the Tablet Inside Pregnancy Tests For?

The little tablet found inside Clearblue pregnancy tests is called a desiccant. Its purpose is to absorb moisture, thereby preserving the test's integrity.

"Since the material used to absorb the urine by capillarity is highly hygroscopic, it needs to remain dry to meet its purpose at the moment of use, or the results can be inaccurate," says Nunez. "Desiccants are often made from silica gel, which is non-toxic but can irritate the digestive and respiratory tract if eaten and inhaled."

By law, pregnancy tests are classified as medical devices and regulated by the FDA, so they have to meet certain specifications in their labeling. If there was a Plan B inside the test, it would have been claimed in the package. "There is no way that a manufacturer could include medication such
as Plan B inside of a medical device without informing it accordingly, because it is illegal," says Nunez.

There is also no reason to put emergency contraception together with a pregnancy test, as Plan B does not end a pregnancy. It prevents pregnancy from happening and it needs to be used within 72 hours of intercourse.

However, pregnancy tests are taken about 14 days after ovulation, so at this point you'd already be way past the window for taking Plan B. "Pregnancy tests detect the presence of HCG, a hormone secreted during pregnancy...detectable six to eight days after the implantation," says Nunez. "So there is no point in supplying these two items together."

The little tablet found inside Clearblue pregnancy tests is a desiccant used to absorb moisture. The test needs to stay completely dry before use to maintain its integrity. The tablet is not Plan B and it should not be eaten..

What to Do If You Do Need Plan B

If you had unprotected sex and you are not on birth control or your birth control method failed, taking Plan B within 72 hours can help prevent you from getting pregnant. It is often referred to as the "morning after pill", but you don't need to wait until the next day. The sooner you take it, the more effective it will be.

Plan B works by delaying ovulation. Basically, it stops you from releasing an egg that might have otherwise been come into contact with sperm. "[Plan B} delays follicular development, or the growth of the egg, when administered before the level of luteinizing hormone increases," says Carolina Mercedes Sueldo, MD MSc FACOG, a double-board-certifited OB/GYN and REI at Women's Specialty and Fertility Center.

Sperm can live up to five days in your body, so you could get pregnant if you ovulate on any of those days. Plan B pushes ovulation back so that is less likely to happen.

If you weigh more than 165 pounds, Plan B may not be effective for you.

If you already ovulated, however, Plan B is unlikely to work. The egg is viable for up to 24 hours after ovulation.

If you ovulated 24 hours or less before intercourse, or if you ovulated after intercourse but hadn't taken Plan B yet, you could be pregnant. "Review of the evidence suggests that emergency contraception is unlikely to prevent implantation of a fertilized egg," says Dr. Sueldo.

You can pick up Plan B from your local pharmacy. You do not need a prescription, but you may have to pay out of pocket for it.

A Word From Verywell

The little tablet found inside Clearblue pregnancy tests is a desiccant used to absorb moisture. The test needs to stay completely dry before use to maintain its integrity. The tablet is not Plan B and it should not be eaten.

Having the morning after pill hidden in a pregnancy test wouldn't make any sense anyway. Plan B delays ovulation to prevent pregnancy, and needs to be taken within 72 hours. A pregnancy test won't give you a reliable result until two weeks later. At this point, a positive means that an egg has already been fertilized and it has implanted in your uterus. Plan B cannot do anything to reverse this.

Accidents happen and birth control methods fail. If this happens to you and you do not want to get pregnant, you can get Plan B from your local pharmacy or Planned Parenthood. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to your healthcare provider.

3 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. ABC News. Fact or fiction pregnancy tests contain the Plan B pill.

  2. Blumenthal P. The levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system: Safety, efficacy, and patient acceptabilityTCRM. 2009;(3):561-74. doi:10.2147/tcrm.s5624

  3. What's the Plan B Morning After Pill?. Planned Parenthood.

By Elisa Cinelli
Elisa is a well-known parenting writer who is passionate about providing research-based content to help parents make the best decisions for their families. She has written for well-known sites including POPSUGAR and Scary Mommy, among others.