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All You Need To Know About The Ella Emergency Contraception Option

Preventing pregnancy after your primary method of birth control has failed or if you didn’t use any primary methods at all, will require you to turn to emergency contraception pills, without wasting anymore time.

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When it comes to morning after pills, there are so many options available, the most common being, progestin-only pills, such as Plan B One Step, Next Choice Once Dose and Take Action. There is also another EC pill which is more effective than progestin-only pills: Ulipristal acetate or Ella emergency contraception pills.

Suggested read: How Effective Is A Morning After Pill? Let’s Find Out

Both progestin-only pills and ulipristal acetate work to inhibit or delay the release of an egg from the ovary, but there are some primary differences between these two types of morning after pills:

  1. The progestin-only pills are available over-the-counter at most drugstores. You need no prescription to avail these pills. Ella, on the other hand, is only available against a prescription from a doctor or a health care provider.
  2. When it comes to effectiveness, ella is more effective than Plan B One Step and its generic forms, such as Next Choice One Dose and Take Action. Ella works effectively even if taken within 5 days of unprotected sex. Plan B, on the other hand, is beneficial when taken within 3 days of unprotected sex.
  3. The effectiveness of a morning after pill depends primarily on where you stand on your menstrual cycle when you are taking the pill. If you are close to ovulating or have just ovulated, then the effectiveness of Plan B and its generic forms, is lowered. Ella, however, remains effective even during this time when your risk of pregnancy is the highest.
  4. For women having BMI over 25, progestin-only pills are not beneficial. Ella, on the contrary, works even for women having BMI 35.

How to choose a morning after pill?

The only thing one must consider when deciding on an emergency contraceptive pill is,


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The most important consideration is the effectiveness of the morning after pill to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. This effectiveness again depends on a few things, namely, the number of days within which you take the pill after having unprotected sex; the quality of the pill; where you stand on your menstrual cycle; and your Body Mass Index.

Taking into consideration all these factors, Ella is seen to be more effective than progestin-only morning after pills, such as Plan B Next Step, Take Action, My Way and Next Choice One Dose.

Now let’s explore these factors one by one:

1. Number of days within which one takes the morning after pill after having unprotected sex

A sperm can live only up to 5 days in the body of the woman, and if it does not find an egg to fertilize, it will die. So the basic idea of emergency contraception is to delay the release of the egg from the ovary, so that the sperm cannot fertilize it, thus evading the unwanted pregnancy. According to research, progestin-only pills are only effective through the 3rd and maximum 4th day, while Ella functions up to days after unguarded sex.

2. Your Body Mass Index

Research shows that Plan B and other progestin-only morning after pills are less effective for women having a BMI over 25. Ella, on the other hand, works efficiently for obese women as well.

3. Where you stand on your menstrual cycle

Though emergency contraceptive pills are supposed to work effectively if taken within 3 to 5 days of unprotected sex, this efficiency depends greatly on where you are in your menstrual cycle. If you are close to ovulating, or have recently ovulated, then your chances of pregnancy are higher, and so the effectiveness of progestin-only morning after pills is lowered. Ella, contrariwise, is a good choice even when you are ovulating or have recently ovulated.

Here are a few frequently asked questions about ella. Our experts have answered them for you, but if you see your specific query did not make it to this list, you can always drop the question in the comment box. Our experts will get back to you, immediately.

Suggested read: Side Effects Of The Morning After Pills That No One Tells You About

1. Where do I get Ella and what does it cost like?

Ella was sanctioned by the FDA in 2010, and was sold in Europe since the end of 2009. Created by a HRA Pharma based in Paris, this morning after pill is available in almost all drugstores across the country. The cost of the pill will vary from place to place, but on an average it costs about 55 US dollars. You can even purchase it online, but expect it to be costlier if you avail a next-day delivery.

2. To buy Ella will I require a prescription or can I get it over-the-counter?

To avail Ella, you will need a prescription from your doctor or primary health care provider. You cannot pick it over-the counter without a prescription. If going to the doctor is a concern, you can get the pill from an online pharmacy. The website asks diagnostic screening question and fulfills the job of a doctor first and then a pharmacy. But first, you will need to make sure that the online pharmacy ships to your state.

Since Ella emergency contraception pill is prescription only it ensures that insurance or Medicaid covers the cost.

3. Are there any age restrictions to avail Ella?

No, there aren’t.

4. Will Ella work effectively if I am taking other drugs?

 According to research, Ella does not interact with other drugs; however, there are a few medications that can reduce the efficiency of Ella. Some of them are Tracleer or other anti-hypertension mediations, drugs for migraine or HIV. Even St. John’s Wort lowers Ella’s effectiveness.

5. What are the side effects of Ella?

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The side effects are nothing different from those experienced with other morning after pills. These include,

  • Motion sickness
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Giddiness
  • Exhaustion
  • Headache
  • Breast soreness
  • Heavier menstrual bleeding
  • Abnormal menstrual cycles
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Cramps

6. Is ella an abortion pill?

You should not mistake Plan B One Step with RU-486 however. RU-486 causes an abortion. Plan B One Step does not cause an abortion or even a miscarriage. It does not work if one is already pregnant, or to put it more specifically, an emergency contraception pill will not work on a fertilized egg implanted in the uterus. It cannot inhibit the development of a fetus.

7. Is ella any different from other morning after pills that we can avail over-the-counter?

To understand this, you need to first understand how progestin-only pills like Plan B work. Progestin is a synthetic hormone that mimics progesterone. Progesterone is a hormone that occurs naturally in a woman’s body making the pregnancy possible. So when you are pregnant, the progesterone will tell your ovaries to stop releasing any more eggs. This helps thicken the mucus around the cervix, which in turn, helps immobile the sperm. The purpose served is preventing a second pregnancy from occurring. So what progestin does is it mimics the function of progesterone, and tricks your body to believe that it is already pregnant. Thus, the ovary does not release the egg. The sperm has nothing to fertilize, dies after the fifth day and your pregnancy is averted.

Ella, on the contrary, overpowers progesterone, thus delaying ovulation by about 5 days. So the sperm dies before your ovary releases the egg. Ella also thins the uterus lining, thus preventing the egg from getting implanted in case it is already fertilized. You can consider this the second line of defense which is available in the case of Ella but not in the case of progestin-only morning after pills.

Ella morning after pills are only for emergency use, like all other emergency contraception pills. Hence the name Emergency Contraceptive Pills!

Ella is very effective when it comes to preventing an unwanted pregnancy after unprotected sex, as we just discussed, but these pills will always be less effective than other primary contraceptive methods like using a condom or a regular birth control pill. So do not use these Ella or other morning after pills very often as their usefulness also reduces if this is your main contraceptive method.

Suggested read: The Most Effective Home Remedies For Abortion In Early Pregnancy

Emergency contraception, thus, should be relied on only during emergencies. And even when you decide to opt for this method of contraception, it is advised that you visit your doctor immediately and talk to them about it, so that your decision regarding the mode of contraception is an informed one.

That is all we have on this post on Ella emergency contraception option.

Was this helpful? Let us know in the comment section. Also, if we missed out on some details or if you have questions for us, please feel free to drop your questions below.

Here’s wishing you a healthy and happy you! :)

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Article Name
All You Need To Know About The Ella Emergency Contraception Option
When it comes to morning after pills, there are many options available, but the most effective of these is the Ella emergency contraception option. Find out more about it.
Riya Roy

Riya Roy

“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster.” This Isaac Asimov line, embraces my love for writing in the finest and most desperate way that it is and should be! I was tormented by the earnestness of the written word not very early in my journey. But once smitten, it has helped me devour life twice over; savoring the moment and indulging in its memories. As a flâneuse, I wander to understand the intricacies of human relationships. Realizing that, they are just different manifestations of the same feeling of love, has been my greatest learning. I seek to share its opulence through the words I type.