Morning After Pill

Emergency Contraception Options

Emergency contraception, commonly known as the morning-after pill, is more available than ever and can be obtained at Women’s clinics, GPs, hospitals, pharmacies and even reputable online medical clinics. It’s fantastic to be able to get the pill without the doctor’s appointment, the nervous wait, or the inevitable lecture, but, because the morning-after pill is more widely available than it was before, the product has the potential to be abused as a method of contraception. Despite the fact that it is not good for the body to take this pill too often, it is also not 100% reliable and it’s effectiveness will depend on the person and the length of time between the sexual activity and the taking of the pill. Newer pills on the market work for days after sexual activity but it’s always best to be on the safe side. Of course, the sooner the pill is taken, the more effective it will be, however, EllaOne, one of the the latest of these drugs to come on the market, can be used up to a phenomenal five days (120 hours) after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure (i.e, where a condom breaks, for example). It is vital to seek advice from a doctor or pharmacist before deciding on a pill and to ensure that the use of such pills is kept to a minimum. EllaOne and Levonelle encompass two of the more popular emergency contraceptive brands and are examples of how certain emergency contraceptive pills work and differ from one another.


In the case of Levonelle, which must be taken within 72 hours of sexual activity, the results from a recent WHO (World Health Organisation) study are very impressive with the prevention of 95% of expected pregnancies when the pill was taken within 24 hours, 85% within the 25 to 48 hour bracket and 58% of those taken within the 49 to 72 hour bracket. Overall, the reliability of both pills is high but getting it into the system sooner rather than later is advisable. Levonelle contains levonorgestrel which is a synthetic version of the hormone, progesterone. Progesterone is involved in the menstrual cycle and is responsible for preparing the body for fertilisation and for pregnancy. This synthetic hormone version has an effect of the real progesterone produced by the body and prevents pregnancy in this way.


EllaOne works differently and by inhibiting the attachment of a certain receptor to the progesterone hormone, it stops ovulation. It also makes the womb a less hospitable environment for the egg. Neither of these emergency contraceptive pills will prevent pregnancy for the remainder of the cycle so regular contraception should be used as a preventative measure and also in the form of a barrier contraceptive. These pills can have an effect on how effective other hormonal contraceptives are, i.e, the contraceptive pill, patch, ring or injection, so caution should be taken until the next period starts. There is much of a muchness between both brands and the deciding factor will relate to how long the patient has waited after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure before seeking the pill.

It has never been easier to obtain emergency contraceptives and the fear is that women will rely on them too much or use it in favour of the regular contraceptive pill. Care should be taken in this regard since one emergency contraceptive pill is the equivalent of 28 regular contraceptive pills. Regular use of these pills has the potential to disrupt the menstrual cycle and will certainly not be as effective as regular non-emergency contraception. These pills can be obtained online too via licensed online clinics, making them very attainable these days but they should be taken as soon as possible for maximum benefit.