New Emergency Contraceptive Up for Approval
On January 29 the Women's Capital Corporation (WCC), a private company devoted to developing reproductive health products for women, submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) for a progestin-only emergency contraceptive.
The two tablet dose contains levonorgestrel, a long-time component of birth control pills and nearly 150 other medications. Unlike "morning after" methods, pills with levonorgestrel help to prevent pregency but do not cause abortion. The pills work prior to fertilization, becoming ineffective once a fertilized egg has been implanted in the womb.
Studies have found that some women will experience mild side effects, such as nausea. Dr. Edith Guilbert, a Canadian physician who actually took part in one study of the contraceptive, said, "[O]ur challenge is to increase awareness of emergency contraception, and to let women know that they still have options for preventing an unintended pregnancy after a contraceptive accident."
Media Resources: Press Release, Women's Capital Corporation, February 3, 1999