Plan B Problems Spur Planned Parenthood to Action

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-12_99edfa7b14.jpgiStock/Thinkstock (NEW YORK) -- The recent news that the morning-after pill may be ineffective in preventing pregnancies in heavier females has a women's health advocate looking for other answers. European manufacturer HRA Pharma of Norlevo revealed that the contraceptive does not work for women who weigh over 176 pounds. In addition, the pill's effectiveness decreases for women over 165 pounds.

While Norlevo isn't sold in the U.S., there are three chemically-identical versions to the European equivalent available to Americans: Plan B One Step, My Way, and the generic version Next Choice One-Dose.

Dr. Deborah Nucatola, senior director of medical services at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, says, "The unintended pregnancy rate hasn't changed at all" in the U.S., suggesting that women aren't using Plan B soon after intercourse or they're not using it correctly.

As a result, Planned Parenthood is promoting a new campaign called EC4U to inform women about the copper IUD Paragard and a new pill "ella" that uses a different hormone than Plan B.

When used properly, the IUD is more than 99 percent effective in preventing unintended pregnancies while "ella" has similar results although its potency tails off in heavier women.

Unlike Plan B, a prescription is required for both alternative forms of contraception.

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