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1) Barrier Methods
The Male Condom
Male Birth Control Pill
The Female Condom
2) Hormonal Methods
Birth Control Pills
Chewable Birth Control Pill
3) IUDs (Intrauterine Devices)
4) Emergency Contraception
New Emergency Contraceptive Ella®
A new emergency contraceptive pill has been approved by the FDA that can prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse and or the failure of other contraceptive devices. The drugs name is ulipristal acetate but known better by its trademarked name Ella® or in Europe, EllaOne®. It is manufactured by Laboratoire HRA Pharma a pharmaceutical company based in Paris France. In the United States, it is being distributed by Watson Pharma Inc., of Morristown, N.J.
This medication is only obtainable through a doctor's prescription and when taken within 5 days or 120 hours after an incident can prevent pregnancy. The Plan B emergency contraceptive was only proven effective within 72 hours. But this drug comes with some controversy for some in different ways.
Ella works by delaying ovulation through a progesterone blocker preventing the hormones that signal the egg inside the ovary to be released. This medication is not to be mistaken with a regular system of birth control but as an emergency contraceptive only but has been approved while a woman is ovulating. Some of the side effects that have been reported are nausea, fatigue, headache, abdominal pain, dizziness and discomfort during menstruation.
Some opponents of Ella say that Ella is much more expensive and that the existing Plan B (levonorgestrel) should be used instead upto 72 hours after due to the cheaper price and its effectiveness. And some people think that an emergency contraceptive pill is like an abortion pill but it this medication should not be confused with RU-486 which was nick named the abortion pill. However for some the controversy still remains since apparently Ella works in a similar fashion. The issue revolves around when a human being begins to exist. Is this at the time of fertilization or at the time of implantation? As well, what effects could be possible on an embryo before it has time to implant itself on the uterine lining. However in studies, only high or multiple doses showed that this could alter the uterus lining which could lead to problematic embryo implantation. But considering that Ella has a two percent failure rate that means that the two percent of babies that Ella didn't work for would be exposed to this drug which some say is similar to the RU-486. The debate goes on but in the mean time the FDA has approved it to be an emergency contraceptive pill that can prevent pregnancies when taken properly.
Visit the Reproductive Health Online website, sponsored by Johns Hopkins University for more information about reproductive health and birth control methods.
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