EllaOne 30mg Morning After Pill
ellaOne is an emergency contraceptive (morning after pill) intended to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or if your contraceptive method has failed. The ellaOne pill is a hormonal pill similar to Levonelle.
You should take the tablet as soon as possible after sex, and within a maximum of 5 days (120 hours).
This is because the sperm can survive up to 5 days in your body after intercourse.
ellaOne is not to be used for regular contraception. If you do not have a regular method of contraception, talk to your doctor or healthcare professional to choose one that is suitable for you.
For more information about emergency contraception, click here.
How It works
ellaOne contains the substance ulipristal acetate which acts by modifying the activity of the natural
hormone progesterone which is necessary for ovulation to occur. As a result, this medicine works by
postponing ovulation. Emergency contraception is not effective in every case. Of 100 women who
take this medicine approximately 2 will become pregnant.
This medicine is a contraceptive used to prevent a pregnancy from starting. If you are already
pregnant, it will not interrupt an existing pregnancy.
Emergency contraception does not protect against sexually transmitted Disease
How to take the ellaOne tablet
– Take one tablet by mouth as soon as possible and no later than 5 days (120 hours) after
unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. Take the tablet without delay.
– You can take the tablet at any time in your cycle.
– You can take the tablet at any time of the day either before, during or after a meal.
If you vomit (be sick, throw up) within 3 hours of taking the tablet, take another tablet as soon as
If you have unprotected sex after taking the tablet, it will not stop you from becoming pregnant.
If your next period is late after taking ellaOne
After taking the tablet, it is normal for your next period to be a few days late.
However, if your period is more than 7 days late; if it is unusually light or unusually heavy; or if you
experience symptoms such as abdominal (stomach) pain, breast tenderness, vomiting or nausea, you
may be pregnant. You should do a pregnancy test right away. If you are pregnant, it is important that
you see your doctor.
Emergency contraception can prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or if the contraception you have used has failed
There are 2 types of emergency contraception:
the emergency contraceptive pill – Levonelle or ellaOne (the “morning after” pill)
the intrauterine device (IUD or coil)
You need to take the emergency contraceptive pill within 3 days (Levonelle) or 5 days (ellaOne) of unprotected sex for it to be effective – the sooner you take it, the more effective it’ll be.
The IUD can be fitted up to 5 days after unprotected sex, or up to 5 days after the earliest time you could have ovulated, for it to be effective.
The IUD is more effective than the contraceptive pill at preventing pregnancy – less than 1% of women who use the IUD get pregnant.
Taking the emergency contraceptive pills Levonelle or ellaOne can give you a headache or tummy pain and make you feel or be sick.
The emergency contraceptive pill can make your next period earlier, later or more painful than usual.
If you’re sick (vomit) within 2 hours of taking Levonelle or 3 hours of taking ellaOne, go to your GP, pharmacist or genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic, as you’ll need to take another dose or have an IUD fitted.
If you use the IUD as emergency contraception, it can be left in and used as your regular contraceptive method.
Emergency contraception doesn’t cause an abortion.
How the emergency pill works
Levonelle contains levonorgestrel, a synthetic (man-made) version of the natural hormone progesterone produced by the ovaries.
Taking it, is thought to stop or delay the release of an egg (ovulation).
Levonelle has to be taken within 72 hours (3 days) of sex to prevent pregnancy. It doesn’t interfere with your regular method of contraception.
ellaOne contains ulipristal acetate, which stops progesterone working normally. This also works by stopping or delaying the release of an egg.
ellaOne has to be taken within 120 hours (5 days) of sex to prevent pregnancy.
If you take Levonelle or ellaOne
Levonelle and ellaOne don’t continue to protect you against pregnancy – if you have unprotected sex at any time after taking the emergency pill, you can become pregnant.
They are not intended to be used as a regular form of contraception. But you can use emergency contraception more than once in a menstrual cycle if you need to.
Who can use the emergency pill?
Most women can use the emergency contraceptive pill. This includes women who can’t use hormonal contraception, such as the combined pill and contraceptive patch.
But you may not be able to take the emergency contraceptive pill if you’re allergic to anything in it, have severe asthma or take any medicines that may interact with it, such as:
the herbal medicine St John’s Wort
some medicines used to treat epilepsy, HIV or tuberculosis (TB)
medicine to make your stomach less acidic, such as omeprazole
some less commonly used antibiotics (rifampicin and rifabutin)
ellaOne can’t be used if you’re already taking one of these medicines, as it may not work. Levonelle may still be used, but the dose may need to be increased.
Levonelle is safe to take while breastfeeding. Although small amounts of the hormones in the pill may pass into your breast milk, it’s not thought to be harmful to your baby.
The safety of ellaOne during breastfeeding isn’t yet known. The manufacturer recommends that you don’t breastfeed for one week after taking this pill.
How the IUD works as emergency contraception
The intrauterine device (IUD) is a small, T-shaped plastic and copper device that’s put into your womb (uterus) by a doctor or nurse.
It releases copper to stop the egg implanting in your womb or being fertilised.
The IUD can be inserted up to 5 days after unprotected sex, or up to 5 days after the earliest time you could have ovulated (released an egg), to prevent pregnancy.
You can also choose to have the IUD left in as an ongoing method of contraception.
How effective is the IUD at preventing pregnancy?
The emergency IUD is the most effective method of emergency contraception – less than 1% of women who use the IUD get pregnant.
It’s more effective than the emergency pill at preventing pregnancy after unprotected sex.
Who can use the IUD?
Most women can use an IUD, including those who are HIV positive. A GP or nurse will ask about your medical history to check if an IUD is suitable for you.
Contraception for the future
If you’re not using a regular method of contraception, you might consider doing so to protect yourself from an unintended pregnancy.
See a GP, nurse or visit your nearest sexual health clinic to discuss the options available.
Types of contraception
Further information can be found on the manufacturers
Paitient Information Leaflet and printed if required.
Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
Some symptoms such as breast tenderness and abdominal (stomach) pain, throwing up (vomiting),
feeling sick (nausea) are also possible signs of pregnancy. If you miss your period and experience
such symptoms after taking ellaOne, you should do a pregnancy test (see section 2 “Pregnancy,
breast-feeding and fertility”).
Common side effects (may affect up to 1 in 10 people)
– nausea, abdominal (stomach) pain or discomfort, vomiting
– painful periods, pelvic pain, breast tenderness
– headache, dizziness, mood swings
– muscle pain, back pain, tiredness
Uncommon side effects (may affect up to 1 in 100 people)
– diarrhoea, heartburn, wind, dry mouth
– unusual or irregular vaginal bleeding, heavy/prolonged periods premenstrual syndrome, vaginal
irritation or discharge, lesser or greater sex drive
– hot flushes
– appetite changes, emotional disorders, anxiety, agitation, trouble sleeping, sleepiness, migraine
– acne, skin lesions, itching
– fever, chills, malaise
Rare side effects (may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people)
– genital pain or itching, pain during sex, rupture of an ovarian cyst, unusually light period
– loss of concentration, vertigo, shaking, disorientation, fainting
– unusual sensation in eye, red eye, sensitivity to light
– dry throat, disturbance in taste
– hives (itchy rash), feeling thirsty