- "Morning After Pill"
- Effective for up to 120 hours after sex
- Contains Ulipristal acetate
Order ellaOne Morning After Pill Online
By Clinical Pharmacist Hywel McGlinchy
The ellaOne pill is an emergency contraceptive used to prevent pregnancy. It’s taken within 120 hours (5 days) of unprotected sex or if the usual contraceptive method has failed.
ellaOne is a brand of the morning-after pill containing the active ingredient ulipristal acetate. The other brand of morning after pill is called Levonelle. Levonelle contains the active ingredient levonorgestrel.
When to take ellaOne
EllaOne must be taken within 120 hours (5 days) of unprotected sex, or contraceptive failure, to be effective. It can be taken at any point of your menstrual cycle.
How to take ellaOne
Take the tablet without delay. You can take it at any time in your cycle. It can be taken at any time of day and can be taken before, during or after a meal.
ellaOne has been shown to be effective when taken within 120 hours of unprotected sexual intercourse. Research shows there’s no significant reduction in effectiveness over time up to 120 hours. Evidence has shown it’s significantly more effective at preventing pregnancy than Levonelle when taken from 0 - 120 hours after unprotected sex.
About 1-2% of women who take ulipristal after unprotected sex will become pregnant. You can still get pregnant if you have unprotected sex later in the same cycle.
How does ellaOne work?
The natural hormone progesterone causes an egg to be released by the ovaries (ovulation). ellaOne blocks the function of progesterone to stop or delay the release of the egg. This means the sperm is unable to fertilise the egg. If ovulation has already occurred, ellaOne may not be effective.
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.
Does ellaOne work if you’ve ovulated already?
Evidence suggests that it isn’t effective if taken after ovulation. However, it’s been shown to delay ovulation later in the cycle than levonorgestrel can.
Who can take ellaOne?
Most women can take emergency contraception. However, you should not take it if you have an allergy to ulipristal or any of the ingredients in the tablet. It may not be suitable for women with severe liver disease or severe asthma. Certain medicines may make it less effective at preventing pregnancy.
Does ellaOne protect against STIs?
EllaOne does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Using condoms every time you have sex is the best method for protection against STIs.
Can you take ellaOne twice in one cycle?
It can be taken more than once in the same menstrual cycle.
Can you breastfeed after taking ellaOne?
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.
What are the side effects of ellaOne?
The most common ellaOne pill side effects include feeling sick, 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.
It 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.
Do you bleed after taking ellaOne?
In studies, around 9% of women reported some bleeding that lasted on average just over 2 days. The vast majority of these women reported the bleeding as spotting.
Will ellaOne affect my future fertility?
There is no evidence to suggest that taking ellaOne will reduce your fertility in the future.
Taking other medicines
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 tuberculosisA 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 may be advised not to take ellaOne.
ellaONE and regular contraception
You’re advised to wait 5 days after taking ellaOne before starting or restarting your regular hormonal contraception, such as the combined pill. During these 5 days, and until your regular contraception becomes effective, you should abstain from sex or use condoms.
Where can I get ellaOne
ellaOne, in the UK, is available to buy over the counter at local pharmacies. It’s a ‘pharmacy’ medicine, which means you’ll need to speak to the pharmacist before you buy EllaOne.
You can buy EllaOne online in the UK 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. Delivery options include next day delivery.
Can men buy the morning after pill?
No, men are unable to buy the morning after pill online. It can only be sold to women after completing an online consultation form, or after speaking to a pharmacist in a pharmacy.
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.
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.
Can include nausea, headache, breast tenderness, spotting.
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.
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.
How long does ellaOne stay in your system?
The tablet is rapidly absorbed but takes several days to clear from your system. It can be detected in breast milk for at least 5 days after ingestion.
Please read the patient information leaflet before using this medication
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