Too often couples who count on condoms for contraception feel they’re well protected against unplanned pregnancies. As financial investment disclosures warn, “Past performance is no guarantee of future performance.” Statistics show over the course of one year approximately 15% of these couples become pregnant. Whether the condom accidently broke or was forgotten, it’s wise to have a back up plan.
The best plan is upgrading to more effective contraception. However another option is emergency contraception pills (ECP). ECPs are often called the “morning after pill,” which is somewhat misleading as they are not limited to being taken the morning after an accidental event. ECPs should be taken as soon as possible after having unprotected sex, but can work up to five days later. A physical examination or pregnancy test is not necessary before using emergency contraception.
A new ECP Ulipristal (Ella®) was recently approved by the FDA. It is very effective at suppressing or delaying ovulation—even more effective than the current Plan B® ECP—which makes fertilization from unprotected intercourse unlikely. Ella® is also a single pill that is to be taken no later than 120 hours (five days) after unprotected intercourse. Possible side effects are similar to Plan B®. In one study, fewer than 10 percent of women using Ella® experienced headache, nausea, or abdominal pain. Fewer than five percent experienced dizziness, or fatigue.
Plan B® is 89% and Ella® is 97.8% effective at preventing an unplanned pregnancy. A pregnancy test should be obtained if a woman’s period is delayed by more then one week from it’s expected date after taking ECPs. More information is available at www.EllaInfo.com .
While Plan B® is availible over-the-counter to women, Ella® requires a doctor’s presceiption (consequently health insurance may cover it). Both cost about $55. Instead of waiting for the crisis, why not obtain a written prescription for emergency contraception in advance just in case you need it?
Come see us for a contraceptive consultation to learn what’s best for you at this time in your life [you can now schedule your appointment online at our webiste WomensHealthFremont.com ] . With a little advance advanced planning we can help further reduce unplanned pregnancies.
Wishing You Good Health,
Women’s Health Specialists
2299 Mowry Avenue, Suite #3C
Fremont, CA 94538
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