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EContra One-Step Review

EContra One-Step (levonorgestrel tablet 1.5 mg) is an emergency contraceptive that prevents pregnancy when taken within 3 days after unprotected sex.


Indications for use

EContra One-Step is used to prevent unwanted pregnancy due to unprotected sexual intercourse. The hormone is used after a sexual act, during which contraceptives of questionable quality were used.

Mechanism of action

This preparation is a hormonal contraceptive, which interrupts an unwanted pregnancy after unprotected sex. The active substance of the drug is levonorgestrel, synthetic progesterone, in a dosage of 1.5 mg.

This principle of action is realized thanks to the ability of levonorgestrel (as well as all gestagens: natural and synthetic) to inhibit the motor activity of the muscular wall of the uterine cavity. Points of the influence of the drug are different and depend on the stage of the woman’s menstrual period.

What happens after taking an emergency pill? The intake of the tablet provokes a powerful release of a large amount of the hormone, as a result of which the following changes occur in the reproductive system:

  1. If the drug is used sexual in the first phase of the period (that is, before ovulation), levonorgestrel blocks the process of maturation of the egg or, causing the follicle wall to become denser, does not allow ripe oocyte to enter the uterine tube cavity. Thus, the drug inhibits ovulation.
  2. In the case of unprotected intercourse after ovulation, levonorgestrel has an abortive effect. The structure of the endometrium changes, because of which the implantation of a fertilized egg becomes impossible, and it is rejected.
  3. In addition, regardless of the phase of the period, the drug causes an increase in the viscosity of the mucus of the cervical canal, which blocks the progression of the spermatozoa to the oocyte.

After cessation of activity of levonorgestrel (within two to five days), the level of hormones in the body drops sharply, which gives impetus to the onset of premature heavy bleeding.

Normal menstruation should come at regular intervals, only minor deviations are possible (menstruation can begin several days earlier or later than usual).

If the implantation of a fertilized egg into the endometrium has already occurred, emergency contraception becomes ineffective.

How to take EContra One-Step?

The levonorgestrel tablet is taken orally 3 days after sexual intercourse without the use of barrier contraceptives. To increase the effectiveness of the hormonal pill, it is recommended to take it within 12 hours.

The drug can be taken before or after meals. Swallow the tablet and drink 100 ml of water without gas.

If vomiting occurs after 3 hours after taking the tablet, take another dose of levonorgestrel (1.5 mg).

Use barrier contraception (condom, uterine cap, diaphragm, etc.) after using the postcoital contraceptive before the next menstruation.

Repeated use of a morning-after pill in one menstrual period is prohibited since there is a risk of hemorrhages and other dangerous complications. The frequent use of the contraceptive may cause uterine hemorrhages, menstrual irregularities. Take emergency contraceptive at intervals of 3 months. Menstruation can be delayed for a period of 5 to 7 days.

Pain in the lower abdomen and frequent fainting testify that a woman has an ectopic pregnancy.

If a woman has gastrointestinal diseases, the contraceptive effect may decrease.

In any case, before using emergency contraception, you should consult a gynecologist!

How to know if a morning-after pill worked?

When all the conditions of the drug’s use are met, heavy menstrual-like bleeding should be expected in 5-6 days. It indicates the maximum effectiveness of levonorgestrel 1.5 mg and non-occurrence of pregnancy.

If bleeding does not occur within 5-6 days after taking a tablet or occurs later, consult a gynecologist and do a blood test for HCG in order to exclude pregnancy.

Effectiveness of levonorgestrel emergency contraception

The contraceptive effectiveness of EContra One-Step is by no means dependent on the phase of the period.

The prevailing opinion about the lack of efficacy of levonorgestrel during ovulation is erroneous and has no medical confirmation. Does emergency contraceptive
always help?

In general, the effectiveness of the drug reaches 95%. That is, pregnancy can still occur in 5 cases out of 100, even if all the conditions of the drug application are observed.

To ensure the maximum possible contraceptive reliability of the drug, it is necessary to observe a condition: take a pill as soon as possible. There is a clear relationship between the time from sexual intercourse to taking the pill and the reliability of its action. If the pill was taken within 24 hours, the drug effectiveness reaches 95%, if more than 24 hours have elapsed from intimacy (but not more than 48 hours) – the drug effectiveness is about 85%, if you take a pill within 48-72 hours, the drug will help in 58% of cases.

There are no other ways to “improve” the drug’s action, which means that it is necessary to strictly follow the instructions for using the medication.


EContra One-Step, like any medicine, has a list of contraindications:

  • hypersensitivity to the components of the drug;
  • functional liver failure;
  • girls under 16 years of age;
  • pregnancy;
  • genital hemorrhages of incomprehensible origin;
  • blockage of blood clots;
  • genetic diseases (lactic acidosis, lack of lactase, etc.).

The drug should be used with caution in breastfeeding and diseases of the digestive tract.

Side effects

In the case of an overdose, EContra One-Step may cause the following side effects:

  • rashes, itching, swelling of the face, nettle fever;
  • vomiting, diarrhea;
  • pain during breast palpation;
  • disorders of menstrual periods;
  • dizziness, nausea, weakness.

In rare cases, women have painful sensations in the lower abdomen and uterine bleeding.


EContra One-Step may interact with St. John’s wort, tacrolimus, nevirapine, tretinoin, lansoprazole, rifabutin, griseofulvin, ampicillin, ritonavir, carbamazepine, primidone. These drugs may reduce the effectiveness of the contraceptive.

Breastfeeding period

A morning-after pill is allowed to use during breastfeeding as directed by a doctor. To protect the baby, stop breastfeeding for 24 hours after taking the hormonal drug. According to the instructions, the active substance levonorgestrel is excreted in breast milk.

Causes of decreased contraceptive effect

Emergency contraceptive effectiveness may be reduced for the following reasons:

  1. If the tablet was taken 24 hours after unprotected sexual intercourse.
  2. If a woman had vomiting within the next 3 hours after taking the pill. In this case, it’s necessary to take an additional pill of levonorgestrel 1.5 mg. To avoid vomiting, doctors recommend taking the drug after meals.
  3. If a woman had repeated unprotected sexual acts.
  4. If a woman abuses emergency contraception – the drug can be used only three times a year and not more than once during one menstrual period. Levonorgestrel 1.5 mg tablet is intended exclusively for emergency contraception and is not a preparation for long-term pregnancy prevention!
  5. If a woman suffers from diseases of the digestive system, causing a violation of absorption of medicines. Therefore, in the presence of gastritis, enterocolitis, Crohn’s disease, liver disease, there is a significant risk that the effectiveness of the drug will be reduced.

When emergency contraception doesn’t work

The levonorgestrel 1.5 mg pill will not help when the implantation of the fetal egg in the uterine mucosa has already occurred. Therefore, taking the drug does not make sense 72 hours after sexual intercourse.

That is, the drug is not effective when a woman is already pregnant. Therefore, women with an irregular period need to exclude pregnancy before using a morning-after pill.

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