START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

5-Day-After Emergency Contraception Pill Approved

5-Day-After Emergency Contraception Pill Approved

Have you ever been raped? Did the condom break? Did you have a random encounter with a sexy stranger when you hadnít thought ahead to bring birth control? Did you forget to take your birth control pill? If so, youíre not alone. Half of pregnancies are unintended. When a woman winds up with an unplanned pregnancy, sheís faced with tough decisions. Should she rearrange her life to accommodate a pregnancy when sheís in the middle of law school? Should she have the baby and give it up for adoption, even though the father wants her to keep it? Should she drop out of high school to become a single mother? Should she terminate the pregnancy? These are not choices any woman wants to make.

But good news is here

The FDA just approved a pill that will rival Plan B and its competitors, but with an edge. Unlike the current ďmorning afterĒ pills, that begin losing efficacy within 24 hours and are ineffective after 72 hours, Ella works just as well 5 days later. So if you didnít know emergency contraception exists, you just realized that you forgot your condom, or you were simply irresponsible and suddenly discovered that you failed to protect yourself from unwanted pregnancy, thereís hope.

Plan B is still an effective, easy, affordable, over-the-counter option for women over 17 years old. But Ella may be more effective — and itís definitely effective longer. So if you show up in my OB/GYN office, telling me you were raped 4 days ago, or youíve just broken up with the guy you loved 3 days ago and werenít using birth control, or you suddenly freak out and realize that you made a huge mistake, take a BIG breath. Youíll be okay.

Iím never the first to jump on the new pharmaceutical bandwagon. After all, drugs get approved — and then pulled — by the FDA , all the time. But Ella has been available in Europe as Ella One for some time now, so we do have some experience with it globally. And in the situations described above, I would definitely prescribe it. (Yes, itís currently available only by prescription, so make sure your doctor knows about it.).

Although we donít know exactly how Ella works, it seems to act differently than other emergency contraceptive options out there on the market — and tends to be a bit controversial. If you’re curious to know more about the Ella skinny and how it compares to your other ďmorning afterĒ options, read this post I wrote.

Know your options

Sure, itís good to know your options and make sure you make the right choice for you. But Iím thrilled this choice is among your options, just in case something happens and you donít remember to protect yourself until 72 hours have passed. Or you had unplanned sex and donít know your choices. Or it takes you 5 days to see your doctor, tell your parents, and admit what happened.

Iím not here to judge you. Iím here to protect you. And while Iím skeptical sometimes about the FDA, this ruling makes me jump for joy. I know there are those that will cry fowl because they fear, because of its close chemical relationship to RU-486 (mifepristone), that this is some undisclosed abortion drug. But Iím here to send those people to time out. Iím sorry if you donít like this, but evidence demonstrates that Ella does not abort a confirmed pregnancy. And mistakes happen. Rapes happen. Condoms break. People arenít always educated.

Ella might help.

What do you think? Have you ever had an unplanned pregnancy? Have you been the victim of sexual assault? Did the condom break? Is an unplanned pregnancy a Sign from the Universe or a burden? Are you happy about this? Does it freak you out? Will you ask for it if you have unplanned, unprotected sex? Tell me what you think!

Read more: Babies, Family, Gynecology, Health, News & Issues, Obstetrics, Pregnancy, Women's Health, , , , , , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Lissa Rankin

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the†Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of†Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.† She is on a grassroots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.† Lissa blogs at† and also created two online communities -† and† She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter.


+ add your own
9:50PM PDT on Jul 29, 2012

this is wonderful

12:00PM PDT on May 27, 2011

Due to other health conditions, I can not take the pill, get IUD or use condoms or diphragms, so my options are very limited when it comes to protecting myself from pregnancy, other then just following my cycle and my man withdrawling...depending on what this pill is made from, it might be an option, if such a circumstance were to arise, but then again it might no...but I am very careful about this subject, so probably won't have a need for it...although, the option is certainly appreciated.

6:01AM PST on Mar 7, 2011

Thanks for the information

11:26PM PST on Mar 1, 2011


6:29AM PST on Dec 3, 2010

That's a breakthrough!

5:12AM PDT on Sep 19, 2010

This is great news :) However, people should definitely not be having unprotected sex (and in the case of rape of course there is no choice) as this pill is not going to protect anyone against STIs.

6:56AM PDT on Aug 26, 2010


....long -term effects usually rear their head after years.
This pill should not be used too freely.

6:52AM PDT on Aug 26, 2010

My only concern is that it is new and has no history.
Having it tested on animals or a group of women does respectively mean not very much.

One should surely consider the side effects; long -term effects usually rear their head after years and certainly not use it too freely.

7:32AM PDT on Aug 25, 2010

I was raped and got pregnant. I had the baby. She will be five in December, and I am thankful for her. I know that's not the right decision for a lot of people, though, so this sounds like it could be a great thing for people who are faced with the same situation.

8:36PM PDT on Aug 24, 2010

This sounds like good news.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Really cool, thanks

Thanks for sharing.

I've NEVER felt so lonely as I did lying next to my ex-husband, who should have been my strongest al…


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!