There's A New Morning-After Pill On The Market, So Move Over, Plan B

Making an unexpected trip to the pharmacy for emergency contraception is something many of us have experienced when a night doesn't, ahem, go as expected. Look, these things happen, but as the saying goes, you're better safe than sorry, especially when it comes to something as serious as a potential pregnancy, you know? Thankfully, emergency contraception is only increasing in accessibility, as it used to be something that was much harder to come by. But now, Preventeza is the new morning-after pill on the market, so good ol' Plan B better make some room on the shelves.

Yes, as of May 2018, the makers of Vagisil have released a new emergency contraceptive, called Preventeza, to the public at large. Much like Plan B, Preventeza is just a one-step, one-pill dose of emergency contraception.

Basically, as explained in Vagisil's product description, Preventeza works by using the same active ingredient as regular, daily birth control pills — aka a hormone called levonorgestrel — but at a much higher dose of 1.5 milligrams. According to MedlinePlus, levonorgestrel "works by preventing the release of an egg from the ovary," or by "preventing fertilization of the egg by sperm."

If you don't intend or want to get pregnant right now, Preventeza can be there to help you after having unprotected sex.

Since pregnancy can happen up to five days after having sex, that can be how long it takes for a sperm and an egg to "meet" and, you know, do their thing. In order for Preventeza to be most effective, you want to take this emergency contraceptive pill within 72 hours of having unprotected sex, according to the product's description on Vagisil's website.

As with Plan B, there can be some side effects to taking Preventeza, and according to Mayo Clinic, you shouldn't be alarmed if you've taken an emergency contraceptive and subsequently notice you have a lighter, heavier, or slightly off-schedule period after the fact, or if you experience a bit of nausea stomach pains, breast tenderness, or headaches after taking the pill. These side effects should only last for a few days, though, so if things are still off after that point, be sure to check in with your doctor to see what's going on.

Emergency contraception, in its varying forms, has actually been around for nearly half a century now, but again, it hasn't always been so readily available to the public as it is today. According to Verywell Health, it wasn't until 1997 that the FDA approved the ingredients in these medications as "safe and effective for use as postcoital emergency contraception."

But it's true that emergency contraception still costs a pretty penny; both Plan B One-Step and the new Preventeza are about the same price, at roughly $40 to $50.

Sure, it's not a fortune, but it's not exactly cheap, either. And while there are some other EC brands and options out there, too, the prices are still kind of all over the place, according to Princeton University's online resource for emergency contraception, with some options costing as little as about $20, and others reaching roughly $60 a pop. If you're confused about what the best EC might be for you, or if you have any questions about effectiveness or difference in options, it's always a good idea to run these things by your health care provider.

Regardless of what brand or method you might choose for your own emergency contraception in the event that you need it, you might be wondering what exactly is the point of having so many different types of ECs, and why the prices can vary so much. Well, as women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, M.D. told Women's Health, the fact that there are more and more emergency contraceptive options on the market these days is actually a really good thing, because "the more brands and competition in the morning-after pill market, the greater the likelihood the price will fall."

What's more, Keech Combe Shetty, co-CEO of Combe, Inc., aka the makers of Vagisil and Preventeza, tells Elite Daily that, while women have many contraceptive tools available to them these days, one in two women may need to use an EC in their lifetime, and only 10 percent of women have actually used it. "It is Vagisil’s mission to dedicate itself to providing education and access to emergency contraception to women who may need it," says Shetty.

This way, a Preventeza press release sent to Elite Daily explains, women can be prepared for anything and everything, "taking the panic out of a stressful moment." Bottom line: The more accessibility, options, and perhaps most importantly, awareness of these various options for women to feel a sense of agency in their sexual health, the better.