Morning After Pill
Emergency contraception, also referred to as ‘the morning after pill’, is a hormonal pill used in birth control. It is applied when a primary contraceptive has failed or not been applied.
- Effective prevention method
- Taken after unprotected sex has occurred
- One-time pill treatment
3 treatment(s) for Morning After Pill
- High rate of effectiveness
- Taken after unprotected sex
- Can be taken up to 5 days afterwards
- 84% effective when used within 72 hours
- Simple one-time treatment
- Popular and branded product
Emergency contraception is a birth control measure applied when a primary method has failed, or not been applied. This might occur when a barrier contraception, such as a condom, has ripped. Someone might also use it if they have not taken their regular contraceptive pill as scheduled after unprotected sex.
There are two main types of morning after pill (referred to by some as a ‘plan B pill’). EllaOne contains an agent called ulipristal acetate and needs to be taken as soon as possible, and no later than 120 hours (5 days) after unprotected intercourse. It works by altering the way progesterone works in the body. This inhibits the performance of certain functions the body undertakes to prepare itself for pregnancy.
Levonelle and Upostelle contain the same active ingredient, levonorgestrel. Those using Upostelle or Levonelle will need to take them as soon as possible after sex without protection has occurred, but no later than 72 hours (3 days) afterwards. Levonorgestrel is a synthetic version of progesterone. Again this prevents certain biological tasks which the body performs during the menstrual cycle, and significantly reduces the likelihood of pregnancy beginning.
In doing so, all three medications avert the normal course of ovulation. This blocks the release of an ovum (or egg), so fertilisation cannot take place. Another function they serve is to stop the lining along the uterine wall from building up, therefore making it less receptive to an egg following insemination. Cervical fluid is also made thicker by these treatments, and this makes it harder for sperm to break through and reach their target.
Please note that these products are not to be used after the indicated functional period, and they are not to be used as alternatives to abortion procedures (termination). If you think you may already be pregnant, do not use this treatment and speak to your doctor for advice.
We do not provide emergency contraception through our site. Contact your local family planning clinic or GP if you want to find out more about the morning after pills available.
Types of Treatment
The three main brands of morning after pill are EllaOne, Levonelle and Upostelle.
They are all day after pill treatments, but their methods of action are slightly different.
How do they work?
While their effects are very similar, the medications contain different active ingredients which work in slightly different ways. EllaOne works by adjusting how progesterone acts in the body, and this helps to avert ovulation and keep the lining of the uterine wall thin; while Levonelle and Upostelle contain a synthetic hormone which replicates the action of progesterone, but achieves the same result.
What are the side effects?
These medications are not identical, but they do have a lot of side effects in common with each other. More common side effects associated with each include headaches, abdominal pain and feelings of nausea.
Can I take them with other medications?
It depends which other treatments you are using. If you are taking other medicines, then you should let your prescriber know, as these may affect how well a morning after pill works.
Our Emergency Contraception forum
What’s the difference between the medications?
Levonelle and Upostelle both contain the same active substance, whereas EllaOne is slightly different. These pills work in a similar way in preventing pregnancy. But while EllaOne can used for up to 5 days after unprotected sex, the window for Levonelle and Upostelle is shorter, at 3 days.
Should I use EllaOne, Levonelle or Upostelle?
This will be determined by your medical history, and the presence of certain conditions.
Are there different side effects?
Yes. Although many of them are similar, you should be aware of the side effects each medicine may cause before you decide on a specific product.
Is it right for me?
Check with your doctor if you are not sure. They will be able to assist you in finding the right pill.
Please note we do not provide the morning after pill through our site.
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