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FDA Approves Ella, New 5-Day Emergency Contraceptive

5 Things to Know About New 5-Day Emergency Contraceptive

Do you know Ella? No, it's not the name of a new celebrity or pop singer, but a new emergency contraceptive pill that was just given the thumbs up by the FDA. We heard about the drug when it was introduced in Europe, but now it has made its way to the US. Unlike Plan B, which should be taken within 24 hours of unprotected sex but can be taken up to three days after, Ella can be taken up to five days after. For some other facts about the new drug, keep reading.

  1. Women who take Ella after unprotected sex have about a one in 50 chance of becoming pregnant, compared to a one in 20 chance without.
  2. It works just as well on the fifth day as the first day after sex, unlike Plan B, which decreases its effectiveness the longer you wait.
  3. It's available by prescription only.
  4. It works by stopping the effects of female hormone progesterone, but some are saying it works similarly to the abortion pill (RU-486) by making the womb "less hospitable to a fertilized egg."
  5. Side effects included headache, nausea, abdominal pain, painful menstrual cramps, fatigue, and dizziness.
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