How To Use ellaOne

ellaOne is an emergency contraceptive used in situations in which regular contraception has failed or not been used. Its active ingredient is called ulipristal acetate, a synthetic version of the female sex hormone progestogen.

Ulipristal acetate prevents ovulation and thickens womb lining
Ulipristal acetate
(synthetic progestogen)
Prevents ovulation and
thickens womb lining

Progestogen in a woman's body is produced naturally after ovulation. It causes the ovaries to stop producing eggs. When taken as a form of emergency contraception, it fools the body's reproductive processes into thinking that ovulation has already occurred, and stops it from actually happening. Progestogen is also reported to alter the lining of the womb by making it thinner. This means that even if an egg were to be fertilised, it would not be able to embed itself to the womb lining in order to grow.

Before using ellaOne

Do not take ellaOne:
  • ellaOne 30mg packageIf more than 120 hours (five days) have passed since you have had unprotected sex, or your period is late. This means that you could already be pregnant. In this case ellaOne will not be effective and could even be harmful.
  • If you have a severely decreased liver function.
  • If you are under the age of 18.
  • If you have any allergies to the ingredients in this emergency contraception pill, particularly the active ingredient ulipristal acetate.
Inform your doctor:

  • If you suffer from liver disease
  • If you have severe asthma
  • If you are worried about sexually transmitted infections, as ellaOne will not provide protection against them

How to use ellaOne

If you are going to use emergency contraception, you need to ensure that you are not already pregnant, as it can cause an ectopic pregnancy.

You can take ellaOne up to five days after having unprotected sex. This makes it one of the more popular options, as other emergency contraceptives only work if they are taken within 72 hours.

You should swallow one tablet before, during or after a meal and as soon as possible after having unprotected sex. If you vomit within three hours of taking it, consult your doctor immediately.

After taking ellaOne

  • Do not have unprotected sex, as it will not prevent you from becoming pregnant in the future.
  • If you are taking birth control pills, continue as normal but use a condom until your next period.
  • Do not breastfeed for 36 hours after taking ellaOne.
  • If you accidentally take too much ellaOne, you should consult your doctor.

Taking ellaOne with other medications

Some medications can have a negative effect when combined with ellaOne, or make it less effective in preventing pregnancy. It is important to inform your doctor of any other medications you are taking in order to ensure that it will be safe for you to use. Some of the medications that have a negative effect include:

  • Medications used to treat epilepsy
  • Medications used to treat HIV
  • Medications to treat bacterial infections
  • Herbal remedies containing St. John's Wort

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