ellaOne is a type of morning after pill. This means that it is can be used to protect against pregnancy after unprotected sex. However, ellaOne should not be taken regularly and it is recommended that you find a form of regular contraception to use, and only rely on ellaOne in an emergency.
ellaOne must be taken within 5 days of the episode of unprotected sex, to be effective. However, ellaOne is more effective, the sooner it is taken, so you should try to get hold of ellaOne as soon as possible to prevent pregnancy.
ellaOne works by delaying ovulation, which helps to prevent the egg from being fertilised. ellaOne is not an abortion pill and will not end a pregnancy if the egg has already been fertilised.
ellaOne is available over the counter in the UK following a brief consultation with a pharmacist. The pharmacist will ask you some questions to check that ellaOne is the most suitable emergency contraception for you to use and they will also discuss other contraceptive options with you to make sure you know what is available to you. ellaOne is also available from your GP, sexual health centres and family planning clinics. You can also buy ellaOne for future use from Dr Felix. This means that if your contraception fails, or if you have unprotected sex, you have the pill ready and you can take it straight away when it is most effective.
Levonelle is another type of morning after pill. It works by preventing fertilisation from occurring, but it is only effective up to 72 hours after unprotected sex. Therefore, it must be taken within a shorter timeframe than ellaOne. However, both ellaOne and Levonelle are more effective, the earlier they are taken.
The IUD (intrauterine device) is the other form of emergency contraception available. It is a copper device that is inserted into the uterus. This must be done by a medical professional. The IUD is the most effective form of emergency contraception. It works by preventing fertilisation and implantation if the egg is already fertilised. Like ellaOne, it can be effective up to 5 days after unprotected sex, but it is more reliable when inserted as soon as possible. The IUD has the additional advantage of also being a long term method of contraception, so keeping the IUD in can protect against pregnancy and help you avoid the need for emergency contraception in the future.