Of contraception and heavy women

Morning-after pill proves ineffective in heavier and obese women

The morning-after pill may be less effective in heavier women, a Scottish study suggests.

The study, conducted by scientists at the University of Edinburgh, investigated the effectiveness of levonorgestrel, the active ingredient in Norlevo, a contraceptive pill made by French pharmaceutical company HRA Pharma, according to BBC News. The researchers noted Norlevo was “less effective” in women weighing more than 165 pounds and “ineffective” in women who weigh more than 176 pounds, while obese women taking the drug were four times more likely to get pregnant than women of average weight. The researchers theorized that levonorgestrel is absorbed into fat, thereby lowering the dose in the bloodstream.

Levonorgestrel is used in other brands of the morning-after pill, including those distributed in the U.S. The report’s authors recommended alternative emergency-contraceptive measures—such as devices that can be implanted in the womb—for heavier and obese women.