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EllaOne is an emergency contraception pill that is more commonly known as day after pill. It is called as such because it is usually taken the day after an unprotected sex when you might have a pregnancy scare.

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What is EllaOne?

EllaOne is known as a 'morning after pill'. It's used to reduce the chances of getting pregnant if you've had unprotected sex, or if your regular method of contraception has failed (for example split condom, missed pill).

How does EllaOne work?

EllaOne is an emergency contraceptive to be taken as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse to prevent pregnancy. It is a tablet containing the active ingredient ulipristal acetate, which is a type of medicine called a selective progesterone receptor modulator. It works by acting on the body's receptors for the naturally occurring female sex hormone, progesterone.

Ulipristal is thought to work mainly by preventing or delaying ovulation, depending on which stage of the menstrual cycle the woman is at. It contains Ulipristal Acetate which binds to the receptors that progesterone normally binds to. It, therefore, prevents progesterone from performing its function, which is to release eggs and prepare the lining of the womb for eggs.

  • You should take ellaOne as soon as possible after sex, and within a maximum of 5 days (120 hours).
  • This is because the sperm can survive up to 5 days in your body after intercourse.
  • It is suitable for any woman of childbearing age, including adolescents.
  • You can take it at any time in the menstrual cycle.

Morning After Pill

EllaOne is called the "Morning After Pill", taken the morning after having sex to prevent pregnancy. It works to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex by postponing ovulation if it has not already happened. This means the sperm waiting in the fallopian tubes will be unable to meet an egg and fertilise it. This is similar to regular contraceptive pills, which also work by preventing egg release.

Emergency contraceptive pills are not 100% effective. This is because there is a chance that you may have already ovulated when you take an emergency contraceptive pill. Taking emergency contraceptive pills as soon as possible after unprotected sex gives the best chance of success.

In a woman's regular menstrual cycle, an egg matures and is released from the ovaries (ovulation). The ovary then produces progesterone, which prevents the release of further eggs. Ulipristal tricks the body processes into thinking that ovulation has already occurred. It prevents or delays the release of an egg from the ovaries for five days.

Information about EllaOne

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Most women can take EllaOne. You cannot take it if you are already pregnant. Women who are suffering from gastrointestinal and malabsorption problems need to inform their doctor of their condition, as the active ingredient might not be absorbed properly and treatment might thus remain ineffective. In these cases, having a coil fitted can be a more suitable option for emergency contraception (the coil needs to be fitted within 5 days of the intercourse). It is also important to mention previous ectopic pregnancies to your doctor, as well as any medication you are currently taking.

EllaOne can be used if you have doubts regarding the contraceptive you are currently using, such as a forgotten contraceptive pill or a tear in the condom. ElllaOne should be taken as soon as possible to prevent the unwanted pregnancy. If taken within 24 hours of unprotected sex, the effectiveness of a day after pill is as high as 95%. The pill can be taken up to 120 hours, but the effectivity of the pill may decrease.

Mechanism of action of EllaOne

EllaOne contains the active ingredient Ulipristal Acetate with other ingredients such as povidone K30, croscarmellose sodium, magnesium stearate and lactose monohydrate. The usual mechanism of action of the day after pill is that they alter the lining of the womb preventing the fertilised egg cell from implanting and thus preventing the pregnancy. According to studies the treatment or use of EllaOne is highly effective especially if taken within 24 hours. But there is still a small chance you can get pregnant. If you think that the treatment did not work, consult your doctor immediately.

Advantages and disadvantages of EllaOne

The advantage of EllaOne compared to another day after pills are that it can help you prevent pregnancy for up to 120 hours after the unprotected sex. Other days after pills are usually effective for only up to 72 hours. The disadvantage is that it is slightly less effective compared the ordinary contraceptive pills.

There are also possible side effects. The common side effects include vomiting and nausea, fatigue, abdominal pain, period pains, headaches and dizziness. Uncommon side effects that have a slim chance of occurring to you include diarrhoea, constipation, heartburn, urinary tract infection, acne, migraine, abnormal vaginal bleeding, vaginal inflammation, genital itching, acid reflux, dehydration, nose bleeds, joint pain and hives.