"Be prepared" may be the Boy Scouts slogan, but lets face it: when it comes to contraception (especially of the "emergency" variety), its every womans motto.
It’s called Preventeza and it was just released in May.
What is Preventeza?
Preventeza “is a proven option to help women prevent pregnancy before it starts by using the same ingredient as most birth control pills, just at a higher dose,” according to a press release.
It's available online or over-the-counter (at places like CVS or Target) as a single tablet, and it’s designed to be taken after you have unprotected sex to prevent an unintended pregnancy.
It works mainly by stopping the release of an egg from your ovary, but it might also prevent fertilization of a released egg or attachment of a fertilized egg to your uterus.
According to the press releases Preventeza can “significantly decrease” the odds you’ll get pregnant after having unprotected sex, specifically noting that about seven out of every eight women who would have become pregnant won’t after taking Preventeza.
Preventeza vs. Plan B
Preventeza doesn’t say how the product differs from other options out there, but it seems to pretty much be the same thing, says women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, M.D. (The active ingredient in Preventeza is Levonorgestrel 1.5 mg, the same as Plan B One-Step.)
“It’s the same dose and same active ingredient as Plan B,” Wider says. The same side effects are listed for both as well, she points out. Plan B also says on its website that seven out of eight unintended pregnancies will be prevented by its product.
It’s even the exact same price as Plan B One-Step: Preventeza is listed on the Vagisil websitefor $46.99, while Plan B is also $46.99 at Target.com.
But the fact that these drugs are the same (or seem to be the same) isn’t a bad thing. “This gives women another over-the-counter brand to choose for emergency contraception,” Wider says. And, she points out, the more brands and competition in the EC market, the greater the likelihood the price will fall.
When should you take Preventeza?
Did you have unprotected sex? Take it, like, right now. The drug can be taken up to 72 hours after you have unprotected sex, although the makers says it’s more effective the sooner you take it.
"The most important thing for women to know is that if they are at risk of pregnancy, do get [emergency contraception] right away," says Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale Medical School. "It's available over the counter and is quite effective."
If you find that you need to use emergency contraception pretty often, Minkin says it's a good idea to talk to your doctor about getting a better method of birth control, like an IUD. It can save you a lot of stress in the long run.