Too often couples who count on condoms for contraception feel they’re
well protected against unplanned pregnancies. As financial investment
disclosures warn, “Past performance is no guarantee of future performance.”
Statistics show over the course of one year approximately 15% of these
couples become pregnant. Whether the condom accidentally broke or was
forgotten, it’s wise to have a back up plan.
The best plan is upgrading to more effective contraception. However another
emergency contraception pills (ECP). ECPs are often called the “morning after pill,” which is
somewhat misleading as they are not limited to being taken the morning
after an accidental event. ECPs should be taken as soon as possible after
having unprotected sex, but can work up to five days later. A physical
examination or pregnancy test is not necessary before using emergency
A new ECP
Ulipristal (Ella®) was recently approved by the FDA. It is very effective at suppressing
or delaying ovulation—even more effective than the current Plan
B® ECP—which makes fertilization from unprotected intercourse
unlikely. Ella is also a single pill that is to be taken no later than
120 hours (five days) after unprotected intercourse. Possible side effects
are similar to Plan B. In one study, fewer than 10 percent of women using
Ella experienced headache, nausea, or abdominal pain. Fewer than five
percent experienced dizziness, or fatigue.
Plan B is 89% and Ella is 97.8% effective at preventing an unplanned pregnancy.
A pregnancy test should be obtained if a woman’s period is delayed
by more then one week from it’s expected date after taking ECPs.
More information is available at www.EllaInfo.com.
While Plan B is available over-the-counter to women, Ella requires a doctor’s
prescription (consequently health insurance may cover it). Both cost about
$55. Instead of waiting for the crisis, why not obtain a written prescription
for emergency contraception in advance just in case you need it?
Come see us for a contraceptive consultation to learn what’s best
for you at this time in your life. With a little advance advanced planning
we can help further reduce unplanned pregnancies.