Emergency contraception, or The Morning After Pill may be afforded plenty of controversial media coverage. Behind the controversy, emergency contraception may provide women with another option in the case of unplanned, unprotected sexual encounters. Plan B has been available for some time in this country, but there is now a new emergency contraceptive option on the market.
ella, or ellaOne as it is known in Europe, was approved in August of this year by the FDA for use in the United States as an emergency contraceptive. The predecessor of ella, Levonorgestrel (also known as Plan B or Levonelle), was only effective if taken within 3 days of the unprotected sexual encounter. ella, or ellaOne can be taken for up to 5 days after the contraceptive failure or unprotected episode.
In studies paid for by the makers of ell, and conducted in the U.S., the United Kingdom, and Ireland, ella proved more effective in preventing unplanned pregnancy than Plan B. Nearly twice as effective, in fact.
The reason for the effectiveness of ella in preventing unwanted pregnancy can be explained by the fact that this emergency contraception medication actually works to delay ovulation. Plan B merely interferes with the natural ovulation process.
Common side effects of ella are similar to those experienced after taking Plan B or Levonelle. They include dizziness, fatigue, headache, nausea, and abdominal or menstrual pain.
For the time being, ella (ulipristal acetate) is only available with a valid prescription from your doctor, and is not meant to be used as a routine contraceptive device. Even with the extended effectiveness of ella, it is important to seek medical assistance as soon after the contraceptive failure or unprotected sex as possible.
Women who are pregnant, or think that they are pregnant should not take ella. Because the medication contained in ella is passed through the breast milk, women who are currently breast feeding should not obtain a prescription for this emergency contraceptive.
ella provides a better option for women who have experienced contraceptive failure. This emergency contraceptive also provides greater protection against unwanted pregnancies that can be a result of rape or incest.
A conversation with your physician is the best way to determine if ella is the best emergency contraceptive option for your situation. In the case of rape or incest, it is very important to seek medical attention not only because of the possibility of pregnancy, but also to rule out or treat STD’s.