Finally, an OTC Birth Control Pill

Finally, an OTC Birth Control Pill

Something happened in March of this year that should have happened a long time ago. The very first over-the-counter birth control pill approved by the FDA was made available without a prescription in pharmacies all across America. “Opill”, a progestin-only tablet, has been around for decades, but it’s manufacturer, Perrigo, says it took 9 years to be able to bring it to the OTC market. The cost breaks down to approximately $19.95 per month at most retail outlets.

This new accessibility to pregnancy prevention is an enormous win for women, particularly at a time when reproductive rights are being stripped from us both federally and in more than half of the US.

So, what are the details?

  • Opill, according to Perrigo’s website, “works by thickening the cervical mucus, which helps block sperm from reaching the egg and preventing the ovaries from releasing eggs in some cycles.
  • NPR reports that Opill is safe and effective – in fact, it prevents pregnancy at a rate of 98%.
  • Sarah Prager, MD, professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine, told NPR that “the progestin-only pill has an extremely high safety profile, and virtually no one can have a health concern using a progestin-only pill”.
  • It’s sold in 3-month or 6-month supplies.
  • Perrigo has a Cost Assistance Program for those who can’t afford to pay out-of-pocket.

Of course, it’s critical to bear in mind that any birth control pill is only effective if you remember to take it as directed. That’s one of the reasons why Opill – or any pill for that matter – may not be the best option for you if you’re someone who doesn’t want to be obliged to down a daily pill.

Talking to a reproductive health care provider can go a long way in helping you determine what options are best for you regarding pregnancy prevention and overall health. Additionally, self-advocacy is key because at the end of the day, you are the expert of you. More options are always better than less, and we’re grateful women now have another solid choice when it comes to their health.

If you have questions or concerns about your sexual health, contact us for a free phone consultation.

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