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FDA Gives Final Approval of New Emergency Contraception Option Allowing Women Second Option to Prevent Unintended Pregnancy

Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) applauds the decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve the sale and use of ulipristal acetate (UPA), a new form of emergency contraception (EC). The full FDA approval of UPA, a medication that can be used safely and effectively up to five days after unprotected intercourse, provides women with more options to prevent unplanned pregnancies.

This promising new emergency contraception, which will be sold under the brand name “ella,” is already being used in Europe by women to prevent pregnancy up to five days after unprotected intercourse.

“Every woman deserves every option available to prevent an unplanned pregnancy, and there are many reasons why a woman may face the risk of unintended pregnancy — from failure or improper use of birth control, to sexual assault,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “The FDA’s approval of this new form of emergency contraception gives women one more option.”

“Ella, or UPA, is safe and effective at preventing ovulation and therefore pregnancy in the five days after unprotected intercourse,” said PPFA Vice President for Medical Affairs Dr. Vanessa Cullins. “Given the fact that half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unintended, it is vital that women have an array of choices available to prevent unplanned pregnancy. Ella will become an important option for women.”

Per FDA protocol, clinical trials were conducted, and ella was proven to be equally effective throughout the five days after unprotected intercourse, thus expanding women’s reproductive health care options. The FDA Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs is a panel of medical experts who weighed all of the scientific information and provided a recommendation that the medication is safe and effective.

The mechanism of UPA is to prevent or delay ovulation and therefore prevent pregnancy. Pregnancy, according to widely accepted medical definitions, occurs when a fertilized egg implants into the lining of the woman’s uterus.

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Contacts

PPFA Media Relations, 212-261-4433

Published: 08.13.10

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