ellaOne contains ulipristal acetate, which works by delaying or inhibiting ovulation. Once sperm have been ejaculated into the vagina, they can live in the uterus for up to five days. ellaOne can help by delaying ovulation until the sperm that entered the cervix die. It works in a similar way to birth control pills which also help prevent ovulation.
The morning after pill works by delaying ovulation, so if ovulation has already occurred it will not be effective and pregnancy may still take place. It is really hard to determine exactly when you are ovulating as everyone’s menstrual cycle is different and it can change from month to month depending on numerous factors such as altered sleep patterns, diet and birth control.
Even if you think you’ve already ovulated, it’s worth speaking to your healthcare provider who can help you make an informed decision about whether emergency contraception would be suitable for you.
While pregnancy is less likely to occur during certain times in your menstrual cycle, such as your period, some people may have short cycles and can ovulate or be at risk of pregnancy while they are still menstruating. Please speak to your healthcare provider, like a doctor or pharmacist, if you have any concerns.
The morning after pill helps prevent an egg and a sperm from meeting and can help stop pregnancy from taking place. The morning-after pill does not cause an abortion and cannot interrupt an existing pregnancy. There is no evidence to suggest taking an emergency contraceptive pill can harm an unborn child.
Emergency contraceptive pills like ellaOne are for single use only and will not prevent pregnancy from further incidents of unprotected sex. It is recommended that you use a barrier method such as condoms or talk to your healthcare provider about your contraceptive options. There is no evidence that taking ellaOne can affect your long term fertility. If you have unprotected sex again, you can use ellaOne more than once (even in the same cycle) but remember: ellaOne is intended for emergency use only and should not be used in place of a regular contraceptive.