What is ella®?

ella is a form of emergency contraception, which you can take after you have had unprotected sex, or are afraid you may get pregnant because of a broken condom.

ella is one pill, which needs to be taken 120 hours (5 days) or less after you have sex.1 It cannot be purchased over-the-counter and is only available by prescription in the United States.

ella is not meant to be used for routine use as a contraceptive.2 It is only to be used for a single episode of having unprotected sex.3 ella is a heavy dose of hormones, and does not work every time it is used.

It is easy to panic after having unprotected sex and rush to take emergency contraception, such as ella. If you are considering taking ella, there are a few things you should know.

First, you can only become pregnant on certain days of the month, around the time you ovulate. Taking ella when you cannot become pregnant exposes you to a new drug that has not yet been fully tested.

There is a lot we just don’t know about ella.

Second, you may already be pregnant, and if you are, you should not use ella. You also should not use ella if you are breast-feeding, for regular contraceptive use, or more than once during one menstrual cycle.4

According to the manufacturers, you should make sure you aren’t already pregnant before you take ella.5

To find out if you are pregnant, contact us, and we’ll connect you with a caring, qualified pregnancy center near you.

Much is unknown about ella, including:

  • its effects on women under 186
  • its effects on women over age 357
  • its effects on women taking other forms of hormonal contraception8
  • its effects on pregnant women9
  • its effects on women who are breast-feeding10
  • its effects after repeated use within the same menstrual cycle11
  • its effects on women who have not started their period12

Remember, your body and health are important. Take time to make the best decision. Please contact us to get more information.

Even though its marketers say ella prevents pregnancy—and not cause abortions—its manufacturers are required by law to state that ella can cause an abortion. ella can cause an abortion in two ways, which both stop a human embryo from getting the nutrition he or she needs from his or her mother.13

Many women and men don’t realize that all morning-after pills like ella can cause abortions. When they find out, many women wish someone had told them a morning-after pill can cause an abortion.

You have options. If you have any questions about pregnancy, abortion, or morning-after pills including ella and Plan B One-Step, please contact us today. You can email, live chat, or call us at 1-800-712-HELP any time 24-7, 365 days per year for confidential, non-judgmental help.

Only limited studies were done with women who were early in pregnancy. Based upon how this drug worked in animals that were tested, it is reasonable to expect that ella would also have an abortive effect on early pregnancies in humans.14

There are risks and side effects associated with ella. The most common adverse reactions include headache, nausea, stomach (abdominal) pain, menstrual cramps, fatigue, and dizziness.15

Women who experience abdominal pain three to five weeks after using ella should be evaluated right away for an ectopic pregnancy by a physician.16 An ectopic pregnancy is a potentially life-threatening condition where an embryo implants outside of a mother’s uterus, often in her fallopian tube. After a woman takes ella, her period may occur earlier or later than expected by a few days.17

Note: Option Line and our network of participating pregnancy centers offers peer counseling and accurate information about all pregnancy options; however, these centers do not offer or refer for abortion services. The information presented on this website and given through contacting Option Line is intended for general education purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional and/or medical advice.