If you recently had unprotected sex or the condom broke, you might be feeling anxious about the possibility of pregnancy. Emergency contraception is any type of birth control used after unprotected intercourse or a known or suspected contraceptive failure to prevent pregnancy. Emergency contraception, commonly sold as Plan B One-Step (also known as the Morning After Pill) and ella ®, may reduce the chance of pregnancy. These medications are reported to work in several possible ways: Delaying ovulation, blocking sperm from joining with an egg, or preventing a fertilized egg from implanting – some may consider this a very early abortion. Your body and your health are important, so take the time necessary to make the best decision possible.
The Morning After Pill (Plan B One-Step)
Before taking the Morning After Pill, you should clearly understand what it is, what it could mean to your health and how it works.
What is it?
The “morning after pill” is a large dose of the oral contraceptive (levonorgestrel). Known as Plan B One-Step, it is to be taken within 72 hours of intercourse, but should not be used as regular birth control because it’s not as effective. It is NOT the same as RU-486.
Is it effective?
Taken as directed, it may reduce the change of pregnancy, but is not effective in every case.
How does it work?
Plan B is believed to act as an emergency contraceptive principally by preventing ovulation or fertilization. In addition, it may inhibit implantation of a fertilized egg. However, it is not effective once the process of implantation has begun.
Like any medication, risks and side effects are not the same for everyone who takes the morning after pill. Plan B One-Step may cause one or more of the following:
- Menstrual changes
- Lower abdominal cramps
- Breast tenderness
Things to consider
- Emergency contraception is not effective if a woman is already pregnant.
- It is not effective once the process of implantation has begun.
- Plan B does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases.
- The manufacturer warns that Plan B is not recommended for routine use as a contraceptive.
Source: Manufacturer’s Prescribing Information for Plan B (Levonorgestrel) tablets, 0.75 mg. Mfg. by Gedeon Richter, Ltd., Budapest, Hungary for Duramed Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Subsidiary of Barr Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Pomona, NY 10970. Revised Feb 2004. BR-038 / 21000382503, http://www.planbonestep.com
Before taking the ella ®, you should clearly understand what it is, what it could mean to your health and how it works.
What is ella ®?
Ella® (ulipristal) is a form emergency contraceptive. It is a type of birth control to be used within five days after unprotected intercourse or suspected contraceptive failure to attempt to prevent pregnancy. It is available by prescription only, and you doctor should rule out pregnancy before prescribing ella ®.
Is ella ® effective?
Taken as directed, it will reduce the chance of pregnancy, but is not effective in every case.
How does it work?
It works by stopping or delaying the release of an egg from an ovary. Ulipristal may also make it harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus.
Like any medication, risks and side effects are not the same for everyone who takes ella. Some (but not all) of the side effects include:
- Stomach pain
- Heavy bleeding
- Menstrual pain or cramps
Things to consider
- ella ® must be prescribed by a physician
- You should not breast-feed while using this medicine (Ulipristal can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby)
- You will need a pregnancy test to make sure you are not pregnant
- ella ® should NOT be used if you have already confirmed that you are pregnant
- This medicine can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects
- Before taking ella ® tell you doctor if you have a history of ectopic (tubal) pregnancy
- Before taking ella ® tell your doctor if you last menstrual period was less than 4 weeks ago