“Ella” Morning After Pill

What is it?

“Ella” or the morning after pill is another emergency contraceptive pill that works a little differently than “Plan B”. Ella is a prescription emergency form of hormonal birth control that can be used after unprotected sexual contact or where other forms of contraception may have failed. Ella is designed to be used in emergencies, and not as a regular method of birth control.

How does Ella work?

Ella contains a high dose of synthetic progesterone, which delays the release of an egg (ovulation). Without an egg, a pregnancy cannot be created. It also reduces the lining of the uterus so that an egg can’t implant, and a pregnancy cannot occur. Ella cannot end a pregnancy if you are already pregnant.

  •   Take the pill within 5 days (or 120 hours) from the time the sex act that you are worried about occurred.
  •   If you throw-up within 2 hours of taking the pill, call a pharmacist or doctor for advice on how to proceed. You may need to take it again in order to ensure that the pill works.

Where can you get it?

You can pick up Ella at a pharmacy with a prescription, which you can get from health care provider.

How much does it cost?

At pharmacies, approximately $50- $90 depending on the pharmacy’s dispensing fee.

How effective is it?

Ella is designed to be used in emergencies, and not as a regular method of birth control. It is is 85% effective and stays that same effectiveness rate whether you take it a day after the sex act you are worried about or 4 days after the sex act you are worried about.

Does it reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections?

No, it does not reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections.

Reasons someone might choose this method of birth control

  • You have had unprotected sex and don’t want to become pregnant
  • Your method of birth control failed and you don’t want to become pregnant
  • It’s been more than 72 hours since the sex act you are worried about

Reasons someone might not choose this method of birth control

  • You might throw up or feel nauseous
  • You might have trouble accessing it if you live in rural or remote areas
  • You need a prescription
  • It’s more expensive than Plan B

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