Morning-After Pill for Procrastinators
New Pill ella Works Up to 5 Days After
Faced with an upcoming term paper or work deadline, who doesn't waste hours on end Facebook stalking or browsing Gilt Groupe? But when it comes to a condom malfunction, stop procrastinating and get that shit sorted out ASAP.
But if you do procrastinate when it comes to picking up the morning-after pill, good news seems on the horizon. As the WSJ reports, the FDA has approved a new drug, ella, an emergency contraceptive that can be taken up to five days after unprotected sex--that's two days longer than Plan B. ella will become available in the U.S. during the fourth quarter of this year.
As the Associated Press reported back in January, the drug is available in Europe (marketed as ellaOne there) with a doctor's prescription and is as effective if taken on the fifth day after the sex-incident-in-question as it is on the first day. Plan B and generic versions available in the U.S., in contrast, must be taken within three days and lose some of their power with each successive day. In a comparison study of the two drugs (which, in the interest of full disclosure, was paid for by the pharmaceutical company that makes ella), researchers found that women who took Plan B within five days had a 2.6 percent chance of getting pregnant, while ella users had a 1.8 percent chance.
Emergency contraception should never be a substitute for getting on regular birth control, but we'd happily welcome this European export to our fertile plains.