What is ellaOne®?
ellaOne® is an oral emergency contraceptive pill (also known as the morning after pill) containing ulipristal acetate. It is available in your local LloydsPharmacy store.
Effective when it matters most. If you have had unprotected sex, taking ellaOne® can prevent unplanned pregnancy. ellaOne® can be effective for up to 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected sex has taken place, but like all morning after pills it is more effective the sooner you take it.
ellaOne® is intended for use in the case of emergency it is not meant to be a replacement for a regular method of contraception.
Is emergency contraception right for me?
Choosing the right emergency contraception
Emergency contraception may prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure, but it must be used as soon as possible.
If you’ve had unprotected sex, and it is not the right time in your life to have a baby, you are right to consider emergency contraception, such as the morning after pill, ellaOne®
Read about Roisin and Nicole's experience with taking ellaOne.
Talk to your pharmacist
Our pharmacists are trained professionals with the expertise and knowledge to help advise you on your contraceptive options.
If you’ve done your research and decided that ellaOne® is the morning after pill for you, you can ask the pharmacist for ellaOne® by name.
The counter staff might then ask you to wait until a pharmacist or another trained member of the team is free to speak with you and ask you a few questions to check that ellaOne® is suitable for you.
If this happens, the pharmacist will offer you a private consultation room. You can also ask to see the pharmacist privately without disclosing to anyone else why you want to talk.
Got a question about ellaOne®? Wondering how the morning after pill really works? Heard something worrying about side effects and want to get an answer you can trust? Read some of our FAQ's below or visit your local LloydsPharmacy.
What is ellaOne®?
ellaOne is an oral emergency contraceptive pill (a.k.a. morning after pill) containing ulipristal acetate. If you have had unprotected sex, or your contraception has failed, taking ellaOne can help prevent unplanned pregnancy.
ellaOne is the most effective morning after pill*, and it can be effective for up to 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected sex. However, like all morning after pills, it is more effective the sooner you take it.
How does ellaOne® work?
When you have unprotected sex, sperm travel from the vagina, through the cervix and up the fallopian tubes where they wait for an egg to be fertilised. ellaOne® helps prevent or delay ovulation (the egg being released) until all the sperm have died (5 days), so there is no egg for them to meet and so pregnancy can not occur.
Does ellaOne® work if you’ve already ovulated?
ellaOne® works by delaying ovulation, so if you have already ovulated it will not have any effect.
That said, ovulation is very difficult to accurately predict, can vary from month to month, and is affected by all sorts of factors including stress, travel and diet. So if you think you may have ovulated but aren’t 100% sure, ellaOne® might still be an option for you. We advise that you talk to your pharmacist or GP if you want to use ellaOne®, but are worried you may have ovulated.
If you have had unprotected sex at the point of ovulation, the copper intrauterine device (copper coil) is the only emergency contraceptive that could still be effective.
What is the advantage of taking ellaOne®?
ellaOne® is the most effective morning after pill*. The active ingredient in ellaOne® is ulipristal acetate, whereas other morning after pills contain an active ingredient called levonorgestrel. Ulipristal acetate has been shown to be 2.5 times more effective than levonorgestrel at preventing pregnancy.
In a clinical trial, 23 in 1000 became pregnant after using a morning after pill containing levonorgestrel within 24 hours of unprotected sex. That statistic dropped to just 9 in 1000 after using ellaOne® in the same time frame.
ellaOne® gives you a longer window to access emergency contraception, but both medicines are more effective the sooner you take them. ellaOne® can still be effective for up to 120 hours (5 days) afterwards whereas levonorgestrel can be effective emergency contraception for up to 72 hours after unprotected sex.
What happens after taking ellaOne®?
Once you take it, ellaOne® works by delaying ovulation. ellaOne® is most effective the sooner you take it, as reduces the chances that you will ovulate in the time between having unprotected sex and taking emergency contraception. Generally, ellaOne® is well tolerated but, like any medicine, some people experience side effects after taking ellaOne®. For more information about potential side effects, please see here. It is important to remember that ellaOne® is only effective for a specific instance of unprotected sex. Taking ellaOne® will not protect you for future occasions of unprotected sex. Your fertility will return to normal very quickly, and you should use a condom until your next period arrives, even if you are using a hormonal method of contraception like the pill.
Talk to us in store
We hope that we’ve answered some of your questions about ellaOne®. Remember you can call or drop into your local LloydsPharmacy to find out more and discuss with your pharmacist.