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Emergency contraceptive pills

Emergency contraception can prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or if the contraception you have used has failed – for example, a condom has split or you have missed a pill.

There are 2 types of emergency contraception:

1.    the emergency pill – Levonelle or ellaOne

2.    the intrauterine device (IUD or coil).

Levonelle contains levonorgestrel, a synthetic progesterone produced by the ovaries, which stop or delay 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 anti progestin, which also works by stopping or delaying ovulation. ellaOne has to be taken within 120 hours (5 days) of sex to prevent pregnancy.

There are no long serious side effects of using emergency contraception but can cause headaches, tummy pain, changes to your next period – it can be earlier. Emergency contraception doesn’t cause an abortion. They aren’t 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 not be used contraceptive pill?

1.    if you’re allergic to anything in it.

2.    have severe asthma.



3.    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.

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.

Regarding to breastfeeding, Levonelle is safe to take while breastfeeding. 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. If you’re already using regular contraception. If you have taken Levonelle, you  and should, take your next contraceptive pill or you have taken ellaOne, wait at least 5 days before taking your next contraceptive pill.

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