Information about emergency contraception. If you’ve recently had unprotected sex or the condom broke, you might be feeling anxious about the possibility of pregnancy. To learn more about emergency contraception, its risks, and side effects, schedule your confidential consultation.
EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION INFORMATION
Commonly sold as Plan B One-Step and ella®, emergency contraception may reduce the chance of pregnancy. These medications are reported to work in several possible ways: delaying ovulation, blocking sperm from joining with an egg, or preventing a fertilized egg from implanting (some may consider this a very early abortion).1,2,3
Emergency contraception does not prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and there are potential risks and side effects to be considered.4
The morning-after pill
The morning-after pill is a form of emergency contraception. Emergency contraception is any type of birth control used after unprotected intercourse or a known or suspected contraceptive failure (e.g. a broken condom) to attempt to prevent pregnancy. One of the most common ones is a pill called Plan B One-Step®.
How well does the morning-after pill work?
Not as well as was originally advertised. It is intended for use within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse.1,2 Studies done since it was released over the counter say that “it is more effective than nothing.”3
Should I take the morning-after pill?
You can only become pregnant on certain days of the month — around the time that you ovulate. Taking the morning-after pill during a time when you cannot become pregnant needlessly exposes you to a large dose of hormones and costs you money.
If you are already pregnant from an earlier sexual encounter, taking the morning-after pill is of no value and may cause unpleasant side effects.4
Can the morning-after pill cause an abortion?
Taking Plan B One-Step® after fertilization has taken place may prevent the newly formed life from settling into the uterus and continuing to grow, which some consider a form of early abortion.5,6,7
What are the side effects and risks?
Like any medication, risks and side effects are not the same for everyone who takes the morning-after pill. Plan B One-Step® can cause nausea, abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, heavier menstrual bleeding, and dizziness.8
ella® is a form of emergency contraception – a type of birth control to be used within five days after unprotected intercourse or suspected contraceptive failure (e.g. a broken condom) to attempt to prevent pregnancy.1 It is available by prescription only, and your doctor should rule out pregnancy before prescribing ella®.2
Is ella® effective?
If ella® is taken as directed, it will reduce the chance of pregnancy, but it is not effective in every case.3,4
Should I take ella®?
You can only become pregnant on certain days of the month — around the time that you ovulate. Taking ella® during a time when you cannot become pregnant needlessly exposes you to a new drug that has not been fully tested.5,6
Can ella® cause an abortion?
Taking ella® after fertilization has taken place may prevent the newly formed life from settling into the uterus and continuing to grow, which some consider a form of early abortion.7,8
There is something else to know about ella®. Unlike Plan B, ella® is a chemical cousin to the abortion pill Mifeprex™. Both have the ability to damage the embryo’s attachment to the uterus, causing its death.9
This effect on growing pregnancies was not tested in women; however a higher dose of ella® did cause abortions in pregnant animals, including monkeys, and carries the same potential in humans.10
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