ella (ulipristal) is an FDA-approved emergency contraceptive for use within 5 days of unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. Pregnancy from a previous sexual encounter should be ruled out before taking ella. It is to be used only once during a menstrual cycle. It is estimated that taking ella will reduce the number of expected pregnancies from 5.5% to 2%. ella may reduce the chance ofpregnancy by preventing or postponing ovulation. It also may work by preventing a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus, which is a form of early abortion. ella is a chemical cousin to the abortion pill Mifeprex. Both share the progesterone=blocking effect of disrupting the embryo's attachment to the womb, causing its death.
The most common adverse reactions of ella include headache, nausea, stomach (abdominal) pain, menstrual cramps, fatigue and dizziness. Women who experience abdominal pain three to five weeks after using ella should be evaulated right away for an ectopic pregnancy. Much is unknown about the drug, including its effect on women who are under 19 or over 35 years of age, taking other hormonal contraception, pregnant from a previouls encounter, taking ella repeatedly during the same cycle or while breast-feeding.
Combination Estrogen & Progrestin Pills
This method uses birth control pills (containing both estrogen and progestin hormones) taken in much higher concentrations than found in a normal daily dose.
Typical side effects include nausea, vomiting, lower abdominal pain and breast tenderness. Adverse effects associated with methods using combination pills include blood clots, stroke and heart attack.