My Way Generic Morning-After Pill

My Way Morning-After Pill
My Way Morning-After Pill. Photo © 2014 Dawn Stacey

What is the My Way Morning-After Pill?

My Way is the one-pill generic version of the emergency contraceptive Plan B One-Step. Manufactured by Gavis Pharmaceuticals, My Way consists of one pill that contains 1.5 mg of the progestin levonorgestrel. It was FDA-approved on February 22, 2013 for emergency contraceptive use to help prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or suspected contraception failure.

My Way is just one single pill. It consists of a white/off-white, flat, round tablet. It is stamped with NL 620 on one side, and the other side is blank. It contains a higher amount of levonorgestrel than regular birth control pills typically do, but this progestin has been safely used in both emergency contraception and combination birth control pills for decades.

How Does My Way Morning-After Pill Work?

Even though not everybody agrees precisely on how My Way works, it is generally believed that the levonorgestrel progestin in My Way works to prevent pregnancy in a similar way that birth control pills do -- mainly that it helps to prevent ovulation. The FDA has required the manufacturer of My Way Morning-After Pill to indicate on its product labeling that this emergency contraceptive may also work by preventing a fertilized egg to implant to the uterine wall. It should be noted, however, that current research on levonorgestrel-based emergency contraception indicates that My Way does not appear to affect implantation.

What My Way Morning-After Pill is Not:

The morning-after pill is often confused with the abortion pill. My Way is a completely different drug than RU486, so it will not cause a medical abortion. This also means that the My Way morning-after pill will not be effective if you are already pregnant when you use it.

My Way will not terminate or affect an established pregnancy.

The My Way morning-after pill is not intended for routine contraception use, so you should not rely on this product as your primary means of contraception. After you take My Way, this morning-after pill will not continue to offer pregnancy protection throughout the rest of your cycle. Fertility (i.e., your ability to become pregnant) is likely to quickly return after using My Way, so it is very important that you continue to use your regular birth control method or start using a backup method. If you have unprotected sex after you have taken My Way, this morning-after pill will not offer you any additional pregnancy protection.

When Should I Use the My Way Morning-After Pill?

My Way can be taken at any time during your monthly cycle. It is meant to be used as an emergency contraceptive if you had sex without using any birth control or if you believe that birth control failure might have happened (such as your partner didn’t put on the condom correctly, you missed too many birth control pills, you miscalculated your fertile days, etc.).

My Way should be taken within 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected intercourse or contraceptive failure. That being said, you should try to use My Way as soon as possible because it is most effective the sooner you take it.

*Note: emergency birth control, in general, has been shown to still be effective up to 5 days after unprotected sex, so it may still be useful to use the My Way morning-after pill for up to 120 hours.

What are the Common Side Effects for My Way?

The My Way morning-after pill has been shown to be a safe emergency contraceptive option for most women when used properly. The most common side effects of My Way include:

  • Heavier periods
  • Being nauseous
  • Stomach pain
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness

The My Way morning-after pill may also cause various changes in your menstrual cycle. After using My Way, your next period may be lighter or heavier than normal. You may also have spotting/bleeding before your next period. My Way may also cause your next period to begin earlier or later than when you would normally expect it to occur (though most women seem to begin their period within seven days of their expected time).

Taking the My Way morning-after pill may cause you to vomit. Gavis Pharmaceuticals suggests that you call your doctor to ask about taking a repeat dose if you vomit within two hours of taking My Way.

How Do I Know if the My Way Morning-After Pill Worked?

The only way to know for certain that the My Way morning-after pill has successfully prevented your from becoming pregnant is if your period begins at it’s expected time or within seven days of when you expected it to start.

If your period is more than a week late, it is possible that you may be pregnant. If you suspect that this is the case, you can take a home pregnancy test to either rule out or confirm a pregnancy as well as follow up with your doctor.

There is some association between progestin-only contraceptives and ectopic pregnancies. So, if you have taken the My Way morning-after pill, your period is late, and you are experiencing severe lower abdominal pain (around 3 to 5 weeks after taking My Way), you should immediately call your doctor to determine if you have an ectopic pregnancy.

What is the Effectiveness of My Way?

My Way is most effective the sooner you use it. Overall, the My Way morning-after pill is about 84% effective in reducing the chance of pregnancy. The effectiveness of this morning-after pill is calculated based on the probability of conception (by comparing the timing of sex in relation to predicted ovulation). The effectiveness of the My Way morning-after pill becomes less effective with time: it appears to be 95% effective if taken within 24 hours, 85% effective if taken within 25-48 hours, and 58% effective if taken between 49-72 hours).

Research studies have also demonstrated that the expected pregnancy rate of 8% (with no use of any birth control) is lowered to around 1.5% if you use My Way within 24 hours and 2.6% if My Way is taken 48-72 hours after unprotected sex/contraception failure.

Where Can I Find the My Way Morning-After Pill?

The court case Tummino v. Hamburg paved the way for Plan B One-Step and it's generic equivalents to be sold over-the-counter, with no age restrictions.

The My Way morning-after pill is sold over-the-counter, without a prescription, for people of any age (no proof of age is required). Due to FDA requirements, the My Way package must indicate that it is intended for use in women 17 years of age or older; however, one-pill levonorgestrel emergency contraception has been shown to be safe for all ages of women. The FDA required this information to be included on the label as a way to protect the three-year exclusivity agreement with the manufacturer of Plan B One-Step.

Even though My Way has OTC status, you may still need a prescription (no matter your age) in order for your insurance to cover the cost of this medication, so be sure to check your policy's rules.

Because the My Way morning-after pill effectiveness is based on how quickly you use it, in an effort to not waste any time, it may also be a wise idea to call your pharmacy/drug store before you go to make sure that they have My Way in stock.

How Much Does My Way Cost?

Typically, the My Way morning-after pill costs about 14% less than its branded counterpart Plan B One-Step (which can cost anywhere from $35 to $65). The average price for Plan B One-Step is around $48, and the average cost for My Way is $41 (though prices for this generic morning-after pill range from $26 to $62).

Does the My Way Morning-After Pill Provide Any STI Protection?

My Way does not provide any protection against sexually transmitted infections or HIV.

Sources:

Gemzell-Danielsson K, Rabe T, Cheng L. "Emergency contraception." Gynecological Endocrinology. March 2013; 29(S1):1-14. Accessed via private subscription.

Koyama A, Hagopian L, Linden, J. "Emerging options for emergency contraception." Clin Med Insights Reprod Health. 2013; 7:23–35. Accessed via private subscription.

Marions L, Hultenby K, Lindell I, Sun X, Stabi B, & Gemzell-Danielsson K. "Emergency contraception with mifepristone and levonorgestrel: Mechanism of action." Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2002; 100(1):65-71. 

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