African-American woman looking off to side in contemplation. Emergency Contraception

Emergency Contraception / Morning-After Pill 

Emergency contraception or the morning-after pill is a type of drug taken after sex that may prevent pregnancy in some cases. Before taking any type of emergency contraception, it is important to get all the information, so you can make an informed decision. Your health is important. There are many brands of emergency contraception on the market, among them Plan B One-Step and ella are common.

Some emergency contraceptives are not effective if you are pregnant from a previous sexual encounter. The drugs are a large dose of chemical hormones that are unnecessary and expensive if you are already pregnant and don’t know it. We can provide you with a free and confidential pregnancy test to protect your health and safety.

Many people try to buy emergency contraceptives over the internet. However, it’s never safe to buy any medication online and without seeing a medical professional. Your health and safety is important. [1] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]

What Is Plan B One-Step?

Plan B One-Step is a type of emergency contraceptive that is taken after sex with the hope of preventing pregnancy.

Is Plan B One-Step Safe?

It is a large dose of chemical hormones, larger than a dose of daily birth control pills. The most common side effects are, a heavier period, nausea, lower abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, dizziness, breast tenderness, and delay of period.[1] After taking Plan B One-Step, it is likely to have a rapid return of fertility, meaning this drug could trigger your body to ovulate.[2]

Is Plan B One-Step Effective?

Pregnancy can occur a few days out of the month. If you had sex during a time when you were not able to become pregnant, Plan B One-Step is not only unnecessary but is a large and expensive dose of chemical hormones. One study conducted by the makers of Plan B One-Step found that Plan B fails up to 39% of the time depending when it is taken.[4]

When Is Plan B One-Step Effective?

The makers of the drug say that it can be taken up to seventy-two hours (three days) after sex.[5] Many women’s health clinics say it can be taken up to 120 hours (five days) after sex. For your health and safety, it is important to follow the correct dosage recommendations for the drug. You should be leery of organizations taking advantage of you by selling drugs outside its recommendations for usage.

What Is ella?

ella is considered to be a type of emergency contraception. It differs from Plan B One-Step because the drug works similarly to RU-486, the abortion pill.

Is ella Safe?

Many times women panic after having unprotected sex and rush to take drugs, such as ella. However, you can only become pregnant certain days of the month—around the time that you ovulate. Taking ella during a time when you cannot become pregnant needlessly exposes you to chemicals and is a waste of your money. The most common adverse reactions of ella include: headache, nausea, stomach (abdominal) pain, menstrual cramps, fatigue, and dizziness.[6]

Much is unknown about the drug, including the following:

  • Its effect on women under eighteen years of age.
  • Its effect on women over age thirty-five.
  • Its effect on women taking other forms of hormonal contraception.
  • Its effect on pregnant women.
  • Its effect on women who are breast-feeding.
  • Its effect after repeated use within the same menstrual cycle.
  • Its effect on women who have not started their period.[7]

Is ella Effective?

If ella is taken as directed, it may reduce the chance of pregnancy, but it is not effective in every case. In two studies mentioned in the package insert, ella reduced the number of expected pregnancies from about 5.5% to about 2.2%.

It should be noted, however, that if you are taking hormonal contraceptives at the time you take ella, it can become less effective leaving you more vulnerable to pregnancy.

When Is ella Effective?

The makers of the drug say that it can be taken up to 120 hours (five days) after sex.[8]

Whether to use emergency contraception is a decision that should be taken seriously. We are happy to help you with any questions you have concerning emergency contraception. Please contact us for more information. You can talk to a trained peer consultant about your situation, and everything is free and confidential.


[1] Morning After Pill. Mayo Clinic Website: Published December 31, 2019. Published June 5, 2020.

[2] Ella. Drugs Website: Published May 1, 2020. Retrieved June 5, 2020

[3] Plan B Oral. Drugs Website: Published November 27, 2019. Retrieved June 8, 2020.

[4] Plan B The Original Morning After Pill. Plan B Website:,the%20efficacy%20rate%20is%2061%25. Published 2018. Retrieved June 8, 2020.

[5] Plan B One Step Fact Sheet. Plan B Website: Published January 2019. Retrieved June 8, 2020.

[6] Ella Side Effects. Drugs Website: Published August 18, 2019. Retrieved June 8, 2020.

[7] ELLA- ulipristal acetate tablet. U.S. Library of Medicine Website: Published January 27, 2020. Retrieved June 5, 2020.

[8] Ella Package Insert Retrieved June 5, 2020.

[9] Emergency contraception and the morning after pill. web site: Updated April 12, 2020. Accessed December 21, 2021.

[10] Ulipristal (Ella) for Emergency Contraception. American family physician web site: Published August 15, 2012. Retrieved December 21, 2021.

[11] ParaGard. website: Updated August 23, 2021. Retrieved December 21, 2021.

[12] Goldstuck ND, Wildemeersch D. Practical Advice for Emergency IUD Contraception in Young Women. Obstet Gynecol Int. 2015;2015:986439. doi:10.1155/2015/986439

[13] Gainer E, Kenfack B, Mboudou E, Doh AS, Bouyer J. Menstrual bleeding patterns following levonorgestrel emergency contraception. Contraception. 2006;74(2):118–124. doi:10.1016/j.contraception.2006.02.009