Whether he just couldn’t pull out in time, the condom broke or you somehow forgot to use contraception, there is a new pill on sale that will help prevent an unwanted pregnancy up to five days after the unprotected deed, but it won’t prevent STDs, according to a press release Wednesday by Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Women in the U.S. can now get the emergency contraceptive called “ella” with a prescription, according to the release.

Ella was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in August. The other emergency contraceptives currently on sale, such as Plan B, are approved as effective for only three days after unprotected sex.

Mason Student Health Services does not currently provide ella, but they said they do carry emergency contraception that is effective “within the first 72 hours,” according to the Student Health Services website. Student Health Services charges $25 for the emergency contraceptive and $10 for a pregnancy test which is required with the emergency contraceptive.

Calls placed to several pharmacies in the Fairfax area confirmed that none carry ella yet, but according to the press release by Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc., students can get ella online through www.KwikMed.com, “a licensed online pharmacy.”

The cost for ella is $55 and next day delivery is available through FedEx according to the KwikMed website.

The FDA press release says that ella’s “likely main effect is to inhibit or delay ovulation.” But the ella website adds that “ella may also work by preventing attachment (of the fertilized egg) to the uterus.”

According to the FDA press release ella is not intended for use as regular birth control and listed the most common side effects as “headache, nausea, abdominal pain, pain/discomfort during menstruation (dysmenorrhea), fatigue, and dizziness,” which are comparable to the side effects of approved emergency contraceptives currently available.

Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc., said in the press release that women who suspect they are pregnant or know they are pregnant should not use ella.
For students who want to know more about the emergency contraceptive, Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. provided a website ella-rx.com.