Brand Name: ella

What Makes It Different?

  • The FDA approved ella in August of 2010, so it is the newest form of emergency contraceptive.
  • Ella utilizes a progestin called ulipristal acetate, which is a newer generation of progestin. Some research indicates that newer generations of progestin carry a higher risk of blood clots. Ella is the only pill that uses ulipristal acetate.
  • The cost of ella usually begins at $55.
  • A prescription is required to obtain ella. Due to the recent approval of ella, not all pharmacies stock it.
  • There is only one pill to take with ella.
  • Ella is still highly effective after 72 hours, whereas Plan B and Next Choice become less effective with each passing day after the unprotected sex occurred.
  • Women with known or suspected pregnancy and women who are breastfeeding should not use ella.
  • There is some controversy as some say the drug causes abortions but is not being marketed as such. There is no evidence to suggest this is true, as the drug has never been tested as an abortion pill. However, it has similar enough chemicals to the abortion pill RU-486 to perhaps justify some of the its opponents’ arguments.

How it Works

Emergency contraception is sometimes known as the “morning-after pill.” This nickname is misleading, because the pill can be taken up to five days (120 hours) after unprotected sexual intercourse, not just the next morning.

Ella utilizes progestin (the same hormone found in birth control pills, the patch and the ring) to keep the ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulation). Ella also thickens cervical mucus to block sperm from reaching the egg. Lastly, it thins the lining of the uterus, making it less hospitable to implantation of a fertilized egg.

Ella is another form of pregnancy prevention, not an abortion pill. It keeps pregnancy from occurring; it cannot terminate pregnancy. This is a common misconception regarding the morning-after pill.

Emergency contraceptives must be taken after every instance of unprotected sex. They do not prevent pregnancy that may occur from future instances of sexual intercourse.

There are many reasons that you might want to use ella:

  • Your forgot to take your birth control pills, put on the Patch or insert the Ring.
  • The condom broke or came off, and he ejaculated in your vagina.
  • Your diaphragm, cervical cap or sponge slipped out of place, and he ejaculated in your vagina.
  • He didn’t pull out in time.
  • You may have miscalculated your safe days using the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM).
  • You did not use any birth control.
  • You were forced to have unprotected sexual intercourse.
  • You were raped.

How to Use

Ella is only available with a prescription from a doctor or at Planned Parenthood. You must be at least 17 to purchase the morning-after pill. People under 17 must go to a health center or their private health care provider for a prescription.

Ella is a one-dose pill that should be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex. It may reduce nausea to take the pill with food. The sooner you take ella, the more effective it is at preventing pregnancy.


Ella can be taken up to five days (120 hours) after unprotected sex occurs. However, it is most effective when taken within three days (72 hours) when it will reduce the risk of pregnancy by 89%. It is more effective after the 72 hour point than the other emergency contraceptives on the market.


The cost of emergency contraception ranges from $10 to $70.


The benefit of ella is that it is a second line of defense against getting pregnant. Sometimes first methods of birth control fail – because of misuse or a faulty product. Some people may find it difficult to postpone sex when contraception isn’t available, and this morning-after pill can help ensure that does not result in pregnancy. However, emergency contraceptives are not meant for frequent use or to be used in place of regular birth control.


Approximately 25% of women will have nausea or will feel sick after taking emergency contraceptives. Some women combat this with an anti-nausea medicine, which can be taken one hour before ella. Other side effects can include

  • irregular bleeding (especially probable if morning-after pill is taken often)
  • headaches
  • breast tenderness
  • dizziness

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Do You Know Which Birth Control Method is the Most Effective?

Friday 10/18/2013

Do You Know Which Birth Control Method is the Most Effective?

Posted In: Birth Control News

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Birth Control News

How effective is your birth control?

For sexually active women, he effectiveness of birth control depends on how perfectly they use it. For this reason, there are two kinds of effectiveness rates. One measurement is for perfect use, as the method is tested in the lab or used in real life with no mistakes.

The other is typical use, the average including people who don’t always use the method correctly or every time sexual intercourse takes place.

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