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How Long After Unprotected Sex Can I Take Ella?

Ella can be taken up to five days after unprotected sex. It should be taken as soon as possible for maximum effectiveness.

What Is Ella?

Ella is a type of emergency contraception pill intended to be used after having unprotected sex. It can also be used after contraceptive failure, like when a condom breaks during sex.

Unlike progestin-only forms of emergency contraception, such as Plan B One-Step, Ella is not available over the counter. You need a prescription in order to get this type of morning-after pill.

How Ella Works

Ella is a single 30-mg pill that contains no hormones. Instead, it is made with ulipristal, a drug that blocks some of the effects of hormones in your body. When you take Ella, it delays ovulation, thus reducing your risk of becoming pregnant.

When to Take Ella

Ella should be taken within five days (120 hours) of having unprotected sex. The sooner you take it, the more effective it is.

Because of Ella’s hormone-blocking effect, you should not take your regular hormonal contraceptives (like birth control pills) for five days after you take Ella. This prevents the hormones in your birth control from counteracting the hormone-blocking effect of Ella.

Ella should not be taken if you’re currently pregnant or have already taken it once since your last period. It will not terminate an existing pregnancy.

How to Get Ella

Ella is available by prescription only. Most pharmacies require a prescription from a doctor to dispense this medication. However, pharmacists are permitted to prescribe Ella in certain states, including California, Hawaii, Maine, and Alaska.

Our Nurx medical team can prescribe and deliver Ella in case you want to have it on hand or can deliver emergency contraception with overnight shipping if you need it right away.

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