If your regular form of contraception fails, or if you get caught up in the moment and forget to use anything altogether, then you may consider using a form of emergency contraception to help avoid unplanned pregnancy.
There are two types of hormonal emergency contraception (also known as the morning-after pill) in the UK. One contains ulipristal acetate, the main ingredient in ellaOne, and the other contains levonorgestrel.
Ulipristal acetate is 2.5x more effective than levonorgestrel* and can be taken up to five days after unprotected sex, whereas levonorgestrel is effective for up to three days. Both morning-after pills work by delaying ovulation, so no egg is released and it, therefore, cannot fuse with the sperm and turn into a potential pregnancy. The morning after pill cannot terminate an existing pregnancy.
The morning after pill can make some forms of birth control less effective, so if you take emergency contraception you should use a barrier method such as condoms on top of your regular contraception until your next period.
Emergency contraception can only help protect you from a single incident of unprotected sex and cannot be used as a regular method of birth control. The IUD (copper coil) is a non-hormonal long-lasting form of contraception which also works as an emergency contraceptive if fitted within five days of unprotected sex.
*For verification please visit: ellaone.co.uk/verify/
^The healthcare professionals in this article do not endorse any products or brands.
ellaOne® 30mg film-coated tablet contains ulipristal acetate and is indicated for emergency contraception within 120 hours (5 days) of unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. Always read the label.