• ellaOne


Medication features

  • "Morning After Pill"
  • Effective for up to 120 hours after sex
  • Contains Ulipristal acetate


Order ellaOne Morning After Pill Online

EllaOne is an emergency contraceptive. It is taken within 120 hours (5 days) of unprotected sex or if the usual contraceptive method has failed. It is used to prevent pregnancy. 

EllaOne is the branded name for a morning-after pill. There are two different morning-after pills available to buy - Levonelle and ellaOne. The active ingredient in the ellaOne pill is ulipristal acetate. Levonelle contains the active ingredient levonorgestrel.

The ellaOne morning after pill will not prevent a pregnancy every time and it is more effective if taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex.

Effectiveness of the morning after pill

How does ellaOne work?

Women are most fertile around the time their ovaries release an egg (ovulation) in the menstrual cycle. Ovulation usually occurs around 12 to 14 days before the next period starts. The chance of becoming pregnant after having unprotected sex is highest during this time.

The natural hormone progesterone is necessary for ovulation to occur. EllaOne blocks the function of progesterone. This stops or delays the release of the egg meaning the sperm is unable to fertilise the egg. If ovulation has already occurred ellaOne may not be effective. 

EllaOne is an effective morning after pill if taken within 120 hours of unprotected sex. 

If unprotected sex has already occurred in the same menstrual cycle you may already be pregnant, meaning EllaOne will not work. If you suspect you may already be pregnant, please mention this when completing our online form.

EllaOne does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Using condoms every time you have sex is the best method for protection against STIs.

ellaOne and regular contraception

It can be used for emergency contraception even if you are already using regular long term contraception. A common example is forgetting to take your regular pill.

After you take ellaOne you should wait 5 days before you take your next pill, apply your next patch, or insert a new ring.

This precaution is necessary because taking your regular contraceptive before waiting 5 days can make ellaOne less effective.

Your regular contraception method will not be effective immediately. You should abstain from sex or use a condom for 7 days except:

  • 9 days if taking Qlaira
  • 2 days if taking the progestogen-only pill (POP or mini-pill)

Taking this precaution ensures your regular contraception becomes effective before having unprotected sex again.

Emergency contraception should only be used as an occasional contraceptive method. If you find you need to use emergency contraception on a regular basis, you should consider using regular contraception. These methods of contraception are more effective at preventing pregnancy. Examples of regular contraception include:

  • Condoms
  • Combined pill
  • Mini-pill (progestogen-only pill)
  • Hormone implant
  • Hormonal coil
  • Copper coil
  • Hormonal patch
  • Vaginal ring

ContraceptionChoices has more information about the effectiveness of each regular method of contraception.

ellaOne alternatives

The two types of emergency hormonal contraception are:

  • Emergency contraceptive pill - ellaOne or Levonelle
  • The intrauterine device (IUD), also known as the coil

Levonelle can be used up to 72 hours after unprotected sex. This is compared to 120 hours with ellaOne. EllaOne is unsuitable in some circumstances for example if you have severe asthma or take certain medications. In these instances, Levonelle may be safer or more effective. Levonelle is also available to buy from our website.

The IUD is the most effective emergency contraception method. It can be used up to 5 days after unprotected sex. If it is used as emergency contraception, it can be left in and used as a regular contraceptive method. 

The IUD can be inserted by a doctor or nurse. This is generally done in a GUM (genitourinary medicine) clinic, family planning clinic or sexual health clinic. You can find the nearest available clinic on the NHS website.

ellaOne in pregnancy and breastfeeding


EllaOne should not be used in pregnant women. It is not thought to harm a foetus but there has not been enough research conducted to know this for certain. If you may already be pregnant, please mention this when filling out the online form.


There is no research to know if breastfeeding is safe after taking ellaOne. Women who are breastfeeding are advised to avoid breastfeeding for a week after taking it. Any breast milk produced during this time should be discarded.

ellaOne Summary

ellaOne Dosing

Take 1 tablet as soon as possible after coitus, but no later than after 120 hours.


Stops or delays the release of the egg meaning the sperm is unable to fertilise the egg.



Side effects

Can include nausea, headache, breast tenderness, spotting.


  • What is ellaOne?

    It is a "morning after pill" which is used if your usual method of contraception fails, or if you have unprotected sex.

  • What is in ellaOne?

    The active ingredient is Ulipristal acetate.

  • When should I take ellaOne?

    ellaOne should be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex. Effectiveness reduces the longer you leave to take it, and it is not effective past 120hours after sexual intercourse.

  • How does ellaOne work?

    ellaOne works by modifying the activity of the natural hormone progesterone which is necessary for ovulation to occur. As a result it postpones ovulation and hence fertilization can not occur.

  • How effective is ellaOne?

    Emergency contraception is effective in around 98% of cases. Of 100 women who take this medicine approximately 2 will become pregnant. 

    The sooner it is taken, the more likely it will work.

  • How do I take ellaOne?

    Take the tablet whole with a glass of water do not chew or crush the tablet. It must be taken within 120 hours after sexual intercourse.

  • What happens if I vomit after taking ellaOne?

    If you vomit within three hours of taking the tablet it will not have had time to be absorbed and another tablet will need to be taken.

  • Does EllaOne work if I’m mid-cycle?

    Generally, you are most fertile mid-cycle. This is usually between days 10-16 of your menstrual cycle depending on your usual cycle length. 

    Research suggests EllaOne is less effective if you have unprotected sex mid-cycle. This is because if ovulation has already occurred it may not be effective. It can still be taken but women are advised to have the IUD fitted as well.


  • Can I buy EllaOne over the counter?

    EllaOne, in the UK, is available to buy over the counter at certain pharmacies. It is a ‘pharmacy’ medicine, which means you will need to speak to the pharmacist before you buy EllaOne.  

    You can also order EllaOne online from Simple Online Pharmacy. You will need to complete an online consultation as part of your order. This allows our online doctor to make sure it will be safe and effective for you. If your order is approved, our online pharmacy will dispense and dispatch it to your chosen address.

    Content Reviewed 27/01/21


Treatment Comparison

Effective up to72 hours after sex120 hours after sex
Effectiveness96-99% if taken within 24 hours98-99%
Affected by BMI?BMI over 26BMI over 30
Mechanism of ActionStops ovulationStops ovulation

Side Effects

EllaOne Side effects

It is a well-tolerated medication, however, there is always a risk of side effects when taking any medicine. It's important you read the patient information leaflet so you are aware of the potential side effects when taking it. 

The most common side effects of EllaOne include nausea, pelvic pain, headache, stomach pain, and breast tenderness.

If you vomit within 3 hours of taking it you should take another dose because it may not have worked.

EllaOne may cause your period to be later than usual. But if your period is more than 7 days late or unusually light you may be pregnant. In this case, take a pregnancy test or speak to a healthcare professional.

Side effects of the morning after pill


Info Leaflet

Please read the patient information leaflet before using this medication


Interactions with other medication

When filling out our online form, make sure to list any medication you currently take.

There are some medicines that may cause ellaOne to be less effective at preventing pregnancy: 

  • Drugs called barbiturates or other medicines for epilepsy like primidone and carbamazepine.
  • St John’s Wort, a herbal medicine 
  • Some medicines used to treat HIV and tuberculosis
  • A medicine used for fungal infection (griseofulvin)

In these cases, the intrauterine device (IUD) would be the most suitable option to use as an emergency contraceptive.

Women who take steroid tablets to control severe asthma are advised not to take ellaOne.

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Levonelle 1.5mg - Morning After Pill

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Generic x2 Single Doses (2 Tabs) £6.00
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Medication Simple Online Pharmacy
30mg x1 £23.50