Two morning-after medications are available in the United States: Plan B (and its generic equivalents) and Ella. Ella includes ulipristal acetate, which can help prevent unintended pregnancy by delaying ovulation. Plan B includes levonorgestrel, a progestin comparable to that contained in conventional birth control tablets. Both medications can prevent pregnancy if you miss your birth control pill, if your condom broke, or if you had unprotected sex.
Levonelle contains levonorgestrel, a synthetic (man-made) version of the ovarian hormone progesterone. You are taking measures to prevent or postpone the discharge of an egg (ovulation). Levonelle must be taken within 72 hours (3 days) of the following sex to prevent pregnancy. It does not interfere with your usual contraceptive technique.
- Ella One
EllaOne includes ulipristal acetate, which inhibits the natural functioning of progesterone. This also works by preventing or delaying egg release.
To prevent pregnancy, ellaOne must be taken within 120 hours (5 days) following sexual activity.
- What’s the difference between the different types of morning after pill?
The emergency contraceptive pill Levonorgestrel (LNG), commonly known as Levonelle, can be taken within 72 hours (three days) following unprotected sex but will be more successful the sooner it is taken. The emergency contraceptive Ella one, also known as Ulipristal Acetate (UPA), can be administered within 120 hours (five days) following unprotected intercourse. The intrauterine device (IUD or coil) is the most effective emergency contraception and can be inserted up to 120 hours or five days following unprotected sexual activity.
- How effective is the morning after pill?
The morning-after pill only works after unprotected sexual activity. You can become pregnant if you engage in unprotected sexual activity after taking Levonorgestrel or ellaOne. Neither formulation of the morning-after pill is designed for use as a method of regular contraception. However, if necessary, emergency contraception is used more than once each menstrual cycle.
- What is the emergency coil?
The intrauterine device, commonly known as a coil or copper coil, is a kind of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). The IUD is a tiny, T-shaped copper and plastic device intended to be inserted into the uterus (womb). It gradually releases little amounts of copper, which alters the uterine environment so sperm cannot survive.
Getting emergency contraception
- Can I get the morning after pill in advance?
If you are concerned about your regular contraception failing, you may take the morning-after pill earlier.
If you have difficulty obtaining emergency contraception because you reside in a distant place, then it is better to take EC in advance.