Emergency contraceptives don’t work on women who tip the scales at more than 175 pounds, one manufacturer warned, and now the National Institutes of Health wants to know how to rectify the issue. To that end, they’ll be spending more than $700,000 of taxpayer dollars to study ways in which emergency contraception can be made more effective to prevent obese women from becoming pregnant.
Conducted by Oregon Health and Science University, the study was started late last year, according to a report in The Washington Free Beacon. Researchers say “unfortunately,” obese women are more likely to become pregnant after taking the “morning after pill.”
“Emergency contraception (EC) provides a woman with an additional line of defense against unintended pregnancy following an act of unprotected intercourse,” the grant for the project states. “Orally-dosed EC works by delaying ovulation and reduces the risk of pregnancy for a single act of unprotected intercourse by 50-70 [percent].”
The grant further notes, “Unfortunately, obese women are significantly more likely than their normal BMI counterparts to experience failure of orally-dosed EC and in some instances EC is equivalent to placebo.”
According to the Free Beacon, researchers are hoping to “provide improved efficacy” of the morning-after pill for obese women by increasing the dose of the popular pill ella. The main ingredient of ella is ulipristal acetate, a steroid which can delay ovulation for up to five days after unprotected sex. The normal dose is 30 milligrams.
The taxpayer-funded study has received $709,334 so far. Research will continue through 2020.