What is Ella?
Ella (30 mg) is a morning-after pill. In other words, it is an emergency contraceptive to reduce your risk of getting pregnant if you engaged in unprotected sex, forgot one or more doses of your scheduled birth control, lost track of your “safe days”, were forced to have sex, or if your birth control may have failed (e.g. your partner’s condom broke or your IUD became displaced). Using the withdrawal method is not a reliable method of contraception in general, however, if unintentional ejaculation occurs during penetration, Ella be used to prevent pregnancy.
Ella is also known under the generic name Ulipristal. It is to be used for a single episode of unprotected sex or suspected failed birth control, and reduces your chances of getting pregnant by 85% - 98% if taken as recommended. It is meant as an emergency contraceptive only and not as a replacement for regular birth control methods. Please note also that Ella is not indicated for termination of an existing pregnancy and does not protect you against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV.
How does Ella work?
Ella works by preventing ovulation (the release of an egg) during your menstrual cycle. It also makes vaginal fluid become thicker so that sperm won’t reach an egg (fertilization), and prevents a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb by changing the lining of the uterus.
How effective is Ella?
Ella is the most effective type of emergency contraception if taken within 24 hours of unprotected sex and remains 85% effective in preventing pregnancy up to 5 days after unprotected sex or birth control failure. Ella is only available through a doctor’s prescription and can be taken up to 120 hours, or 5 days after unprotected sexual intercourse. To maximize effectivity, it is recommended that you take it as soon as possible after having unprotected sex.
If you had sex around the time of ovulation, Ella is more effective than Plan B in preventing a pregnancy, as it has an increased ability to withstand the rising hormone levels that are triggered by the release of an egg. Additionally, Ella may be more effective than other emergency contraception (excepting IUDs) for preventing pregnancy in individual who weigh over 155 pounds.
Who should take Ella?
Ella is indicated for women of childbearing age, including adolescents, who have had unprotected sex, or whose regular method of birth control unsuspectedly failed, within the preceding 5 days. The pill may not be effective in women who are overweight, distinguished by a body mass index of 30 or above, or taking certain other medications, including hormonal birth control. Speak with your doctor for more details on whether Ella is the right choice for you.