Morning after pill could be less effective in women over 75kgs

Your last-minute lifeline of the morning-after pill might not be as effective as you think.

Your last-minute lifeline of the morning-after pill might not be as effective as you think. New research into emergency contraception suggests that the morning-after pill is less effective in women who weigh more than 74.8 kilos.

The contraceptive pill that’s made from the hormone levonorgestrel, which prevents ovulation, is found to become less effective after the 74.8 kilo mark- and is said to not work at all for women weighing more than 79 kilos.

This information was put on the back of the European-made pill Norlevo’s packet in 2013, and a new study led by Alison Edelman, a professor at the Oregon Health and Science University, U.S, found that it takes a higher dosage of the drug to raise the obese women’s hormone level to that of the women of normal weight.

Edelman’s study involved 10 women between the ages of 18 and 35, five of which were considered ‘normal weight’ and five of which were considered ‘obese,’ according to the BMI measure. When obese women were given one dose of levonorgestrel-based emergency contraception, the amount of the hormone measured in their bloodstream was 50% lower than other women’s.

Although, don’t worry as the team did have a breakthrough moment when they doubled the dose for obese women; Edelman told Women’s Health Mag that: “By doubling the dose, we doubled the level of levonorgestrel observed in the bloodstream.” “We were surprised and pleased to see that we were able to compensate for [the effect of obesity] by doubling the dose,” says Edelman.

When asked whether overweight women could just take two pills if they needed to, Edelman replied: ‘As a clinical provider, I would love to tell you yes,’ she continues, “As a researcher, it’s not something we can recommend yet.”

Elizabeth Westley, director of the International Consortium of Emergency Contraception, tells Women’s Health: “What we need now are some bigger studies that look at whether the higher dose of levonorgestrel is effective at preventing ovulation in heavier women.”

Maybe this is a big-enough signifier to drug companies of the changing times, and how women’s bodies are unapologetically growing upwards and outwards and society just needs to catch up, accept and adapt toward this.

This article was originally published on The DeBrief.

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