Mela-One - DKT Ethiopia's New Emergency Contraceptive





What is Mela-One?

Mela-One is a hormonal oral contraceptive tablet that can be used for emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy within 72 hours of unprotected sexual intercourse or a known or suspected contraceptive failure.


Mela-One is made from synthetic progestin, which is similar to the natural hormone progesterone in a woman's body. Each pack of Mela-One contains a single blister of one uncoated tablet of levonorgestrel 1.5mg.



How does Mela-One prevent pregnancy?

Mela-One prevents pregnancy through the following:


  • • Prevents the release of eggs from ovaries (ovulation)
  • • Increases the thickness of the natural mucus at the neck of the cervix, making it more difficult for sperm to cross from the vagina into the uterus
  • • Delays ovum and/or sperm transport by decreasing tubal motility
  • • Alters the lining of the endometrium of the uterus, preventing it from being prepared for a fertilized egg and thereby preventing implantation of the fertilized egg into the uterus



How effective is Mela-One?

Effectiveness depends on the user. To obtain optimal efficacy, Mela-One should be taken as soon as possible within 72 hours of unprotected sex or a known or suspected contraceptive failure. Mela-One is not indicated for routine use. It is not effective as a regular method of contraception and is suitable only as an emergency contraceptive. It also does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS.


Mela-One is not effective in terminating an existing pregnancy. There is no delay in return to fertility following emergency contraception with Mela-One.



How and when should I take Mela-One?

Mela-One should be taken orally within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse or a known or suspected contraceptive failure. It should be taken as early as possible as efficacy declines with time. Mela-One can be taken at any time during the menstrual cycle unless menstrual bleeding is overdue. If vomiting occurs within two hours of taking the tablet, consideration should be given to repeating the dose.


Mela-One offers emergency contraception for women who have had unprotected sex, but want to prevent pregnancy, and may apply in the following cases:


  • • Sex was unexpected and contraception was not being used
  • • Sex was forced (rape) or coerced
  • • Condom broke or slipped
  • • Man failed to withdraw, as intended, before ejaculation


Mela-One may also be a fit for a woman who:


  • • Has run out of contraceptives and did not use condoms
  • • Missed 3 or more combined oral contraceptive pills or started a new pack 3 or more days late
  • • Was late to receive a contraceptive injection
  • • Had her IUCD come out of place



Who can use Mela-One?

Any woman can use emergency oral contraception, except women with:


  • • Known or suspected pregnancy
  • • Hypersensitivity to levonorgestrel
  • • Undiagnosed abnormal genital bleeding
  • • Severely decreased liver function, and
  • • Women who have had unprotected intercourse more than 72 hours previously



What are the side effects of Mela-One?

Some users report the following:


  • • Changes in bleeding patterns, including slight irregular bleeding a few days after taking Mela-One and/or monthly bleeding that starts earlier or later than expected
  • • Nausea
  • • Vomiting
  • • Lower abdominal pain
  • • Dizziness
  • • Fatigue
  • • Headaches
  • • Breast tenderness


These symptoms may be treated symptomatically and usually resolve spontaneously within a few days.



Are there health risks to using Mela-One?