This one factor could mean the morning after pill doesn’t work for you

Is the morning after pill as effective as you think?

In the throes of passion it’s easy to lose your head – and the condom. Accidents happen to the best of us, and more than one woman has found herself making a trip down to the local pharmacy the morning after a night of debauchery (or plain old missionary).

Yet research released today has thrown the effectiveness of the morning after pill into doubt.

The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health Care (FSRH) found that the effectiveness of some emergency contraception could be reduced depending on a woman’s weight. Specifically, if a woman has a BMI greater than 26kg/m sq, or weighs above 70kg (approx 11 stone), there is risk of an impact on the effectiveness of the pill.

Basically, if you fall into the above weight category it could have potentially disastrous consequences for your emergency contraception.

levonelle pill

But don’t panic just yet. This advice only applies to Levonelle, which is just one type of morning after pill (the oldest). ellaOne is still just as effective in women who weigh above 11 stone. It’s important to have a consultation with your doctor or pharmacist before taking the morning after pill in order to assess which is the right one for you.

ellaOne pill vs Levonelle pill: What’s the difference?

ellaOne pill

Considered to be the most effective morning after pill on the market

Risk of pregnancy as low as 1.4% when taken within three days of unprotected sex

Can be taken more than once during the same cycle

May disrupt long-term contraception such as the combined pill – if you want to have sex, always use a reliable barrier contraceptive method such as condoms until your next period

Levonelle pill

Most widely used emergency contraception on the market

Risk of pregnancy as low as 2.2% when taken within three days of unprotected sex

Can be taken more than once during the same menstrual cycle

Allows women to continue using their usual pill-based contraception throughout the remainder of the month

Pharmacist Deborah Evans, adds: ‘This updated guidance demonstrates that there has never been a better time for women to be aware of their choices and ask pharmacists (and the pharmacy team) for advice. In particular, this latest recommendation on weight highlights the need for women to be informed of the options and treatments that are suitable for them on an individual basis.’

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