Having a child can be one of the most rewarding experiences in a woman’s life. However, if pregnancy occurs at the wrong time during a woman’s life, or under certain circumstances, having a child can be just the opposite and bring a great deal of turmoil. Luckily there are many forms of birth control available for a woman to prevent pregnancy from happening-most of the time. In some situations, a condom may break, a diaphragm may have been forgotten to be put in, etc, and some women want extra assurance that pregnancy will not occur from unprotected sex. Although there is already a morning after pill, Plan B, on the market, researchers felt the need to introduce a new option for women: ella.
ella has already been available for a year in Europe, under the name ellaOne and has just recently passed FDA approval in the United States. Unlike Plan B, ella provides protection against an unwanted pregnancy in nearly 98.2% of cases, and for up to 5 days following intercourse. Plan B only prevents about 97.4% of pregnancy 3 – 5 days following unprotected sex.
Similar to RU-486, ella can both prevent a pregnancy from occurring as well as abort one that has already taken place within the past 5 days. ella works by affecting the progesterone hormone so that ovulation either does not occur at all, or is delayed, preventing a pregnancy that may otherwise have occurred from taking place. ella is created to be used as an emergency contraceptive only, and not as a regular form of contraception. In order for it to work properly, ella must be taken orally within five days in order to effectively prevent pregnancy.
According to the manufacturers of ella, Laboratoire HRA Pharma, who is based in Paris, this emergency contraceptive should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women due to possible risk to the fetus or infant. Clinical trial participants reported several side-effects when using ella, so any woman using this emergency birth control should expect to experience: headache, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, abdominal pain, and dysmenorrheal-like discomfort. There may also be an alteration in the next expected menstrual period, such as when it will start, the duration, and some women noticed an increase in the length of their cycle.
The use of ella is not suggested in girls prior to puberty, nor for post menopausal women. It’s strictly intended for adolescent girls and women ages 18 to menopause. Certain herbal remedies and medications can alter the affect of ella, so check with your doctor or pharmacist prior to taking ella. It is also not advised to use ella more than once during the same menstrual cycle. ella must be prescribed by your doctor and can not be purchased over-the-counter. For more information about ella, contact Watson Medical Communications at 1-800-272-5525.
Ella Labeling Information – http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2010/022474s000lbl.pdf
FDA News Release – http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm222428.htm