The latex male condom provides the best protection from most STDs. updated 03/07/2015 In 2012, a small Pennsylvania college made national headlines for putting packs of the emergency contraceptive pill Plan B … Other types of combined estrogen and progesti… Access to contraception translates to healthier mothers, newborns, families and communities by allowing people to help time and space births. A recent study from John Hopkins Medicine found that teens can adhere to taking the pill and that it’s safe for them to take without medical supervision. We urgently need to do more to fight against the far right and its violence — while we still can. Contraception. Our daily email newsletter will keep you up to date. In a survey of 147 countries Dr. Daniel Grossman, of Ibis Reproductive Health found that women in the U.S. and 44 other countries need a prescription to get birth control pills. this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. Safer even than, say, Tylenol, which you can actually overdose on or can give you stomach problems. Your dream is a symbol of a bigger problem. The type of OC that advocates are pushing FDA over-the-counter approval for is the progestin-only pill. Given the issues still being debated with selling emergency contraception in drugstores, this will likely be a long, arduous battle. This vision of the future — where everyone has the power to exercise their human right to live a pleasurable, safe, and healthy sexual and reproductive life — is worth fighting for. According to most medical research, there is no reason for hormonal birth control to not be accessible without a prescription, as it is in 102 other countries. thinks that young people would be more likely to use them. Last medically reviewed on March 10, 2016 En Español (1582KB). “Our review strongly suggests that giving teens easier access to various contraceptives will not lead to more sex but would result in fewer unwanted pregnancies,” she said in a statement accompanying the paper. Turns out, it already should be. One of the primary reasons why women seek an OTC birth control pill is because of the ease of access and convenience. Hello Giggles is part of the Meredith Beauty Group. Making birth control pills available over the counter, if done right, would meaningfully improve access for some groups of women. Spermicide  is an over-the-counter birth control method that comes in different forms like foams, film, creams, suppositories, and jellies Spermicide should be … As of now, the only available over-the-counter birth control pills are for emergency contraception. The system will be designed to respond to cultural and linguistic differences so that everyone has quality information about all of their health care needs, including effective family planning methods and abortion care. How wrong is that many people are okay with forcing women to have to undress in front of doctors and have metal tools shoved up into their most holy and secret of places. However, the pill does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV (the virus that causes AIDS). Hello Giggles may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. If birth control pills are made available over the counter prices are likely to drop. White supremacists, conspiracy theorists, and far right extremists have gone unchallenged long enough. An over-the-counter birth control pill that is affordable and available to people of all ages is a critical step in that direction. The big difference? There has even been a proposal about it in Congress.But what does all of this actually mean for women who use the pill?. Offers may be subject to change without notice. The pill is generally safe to take over a long period of time. In recent years there have been plenty of headlines about the birth control pill becoming available over the counter. And there generally aren’t any medical complications with progestin-only pills (as opposed to the combination estrogen and progesterone pills) for pretty much all women, despite their age. Please join us in our fury and help us amplify the voices of the authors and activists fighting for our future. “Making birth-control pills available over the counter would greatly increase convenience and access for many women, ultimately leading to fewer unintended pregnancies. Rattankun Thongbun / iStock / Getty Images Plus, To donate by check, phone, bitcoin, or other method, see our, Biden Calls for $15 Federal Minimum Wage With Pandemic Relief Package, QAnon Trump Supporter Jacob Chansley Seeks Pardon From Trump for Capitol Breach, 2020 Is Tied for the Hottest Year on Record, NASA Says, What to Expect in the Final Days of Trump’s Fascist Reign, Homeless Encampment Evictions Highlight the Cruelty of Capitalism Amid COVID, stand between women and the birth control they need, increase opportunities for all people to access safe, effective contraception, Stunner on Birth Control: Trump’s Moral Exemption Is Geared to Two Groups, How Limiting Access to Birth Control and Abortions Hurts the Economy, Ten Bonus Health Benefits of Birth Control. Because of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), most insurance plans must cover all methods of birth control at no cost to you, including the pill. Just remember, the only reason you can’t already is because someone doesn’t like the idea of you making decisions about your body. Birth control pills are safe and effective, but there are currently too many barriers to access them. Print the Birth Control Chart (502 KB). Almost one in three women who have ever tried to get a prescription for birth control said they’ve faced obstacles, including not having a regular health care provider, the distance to visit a health care provider, the cost for an appointment, or challenges taking time off from work or school. One-third of the wage gains women have achieved over the 1980s and 1990s have been attributed to access to birth control pills. That's because oral contraceptives will be liberated from the third-party spending trap . While offering over the counter birth control pills and patches is controversial here in the U.S., it is a non-issue in many other countries. Birth control is a way for men and women to prevent pregnancy. If you do not want to get pregnant, there are many birth control options to choose from. First, a definition. Get daily news, in-depth reporting and critical analysis from the journalists, activists and thinkers who are working to improve our world.. What’s the difference between religious beliefs and moral convictions? You need a doctor's prescription to get birth control pills (either progestin-only pills , combination pills , or extended cycle pills ). I've heard from numerous people over the past year that there's a kind of birth control pill that has become legal to sell over the counter, I'm wondering if this is true and if so what's it called? With the current administration chipping away at the Affordable Care Act and making it so that employers, universities, and insurance companies can deny a woman birth control, we might be very far away from a time when you can just pop into a store and buy birth control over the counter without a doctor or pharmacist being involved. The pill has helped women to achieve higher levels of educational and career advancement, more fully participate in the workforce, and face less economic insecurity by allowing them to control when and whether they become pregnant. Culturally, America still doesn’t want young women having sex for pleasure and controlling their own reproductive health. An over-the-counter pill would reduce the unnecessary barriers that stand between women and the birth control they need , which disproportionately affect low-income, poor and young women, and would increase opportunities for all people to access safe, effective contraception . What exactly does “over the counter” mean, anyway? While there are always risks with any medication, progestin-only birth control pills are so safe. The US needs to take bold steps to make birth control more accessible. We must fight for a future in which no one stands in the way of someone who has made the decision to end their pregnancy, and everyone has access to high-quality, safe abortion care that they can afford. That’s because there are fewer restrictions on … People want to access their birth control in new ways, with fewer obstacles. Proponents of making birth control an over-the-counter medication say that women face higher costs from doctor’s visits and insurance copayments than they would if the pill were simply available without a prescription. The culture of requiring a woman to have health insurance and then go see a doctor for birth control is based in fear mongering. Almost two-thirds of 2,000 women surveyed by the sexual health nonprofit Ibis Reproductive Health say they’d support over-the-counter birth control, while about 30 percent of women who use no birth control or only condoms say they’d take the pill if it were available over the counter, reports Reuters. Follow us for first access to the latest news and analysis. Under current law, birth control pills are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and women are required to obtain a doctor’s prescription to obtain them. A survey of women at risk of unintended pregnancy conducted in 2011 found that while nearly 40 percent of respondents said they would buy birth control pills over the counter… 3. No one product is best for everyone. Truthout is a nonprofit and depends on your financial support. Women should be trusted to read up on the different kinds available and choose one that works for them, just like we do with cold medicine. Birth control pills are one of the best-studied medicines on the market today, with decades of research and experience showing they are safe for over-the-counter use. But still, the American teen pregnancy rate is “substantially higher” than in other “western industrialized nations,” and there are huge disparities in teen pregnancy rates depending on where you live in the country and your ethnic background. Why Americans Can't Have Over-the-Counter Birth Control Pills Those with standing to challenge the pill's prescription status also gain from keeping it that way. However, such a change is no substitute for public and private insurance coverage of contraceptives—let alone justification for rolling back coverage of all contraceptive methods and related services for the millions of women who currently have it. Copyright © 2021 Meredith Corporation. The Food and Drug Administration makes drugs available over the counter only when they’re safe “for self-administration, effective when self-administered, treat a condition or address a concern that is self-diagnosable, and can carry labels that are easily understood and tailored for self-administration.” Birth control pills meet all of those requirements, which is why the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommended that it be available over the counter back in 2012. If birth control pills were available over the counter, there would be fewer unnecessary barriers to getting them. ... Of course, there is currently no version of the pill has been approved by the FDA for use without a … Making the birth control pill available over the counter would be a groundbreaking step and give people greater ability to make decisions and have autonomy over their bodies. This story was originally published on February 19th, 2018. Every step forward we take is valuable. People are going to have sex whether they have the protection they need or not, and teaching kids to use condoms and birth control along with other safe sex practices is something we should already be doing. Why isn't birth control available over the counter? Gone are the days when family planning meant crossed-fingers and carefully washed reusable condoms, or metal pessaries or worse. Improved access to safe, effective birth control is critical to people’s reproductive rights and health. “Although reasons for the declines are not totally clear, evidence suggests these declines are due to more teens abstaining from sexual activity, and more teens who are sexually active using birth control than in previous years,” the CDC explains. Our nation’s economic health and reproductive health are linked. There are two types of birth control pill: those with progestin-only and combination pills with progestin and estrogen. And in El Paso, Texas, researchers studied 500 women who regularly crossed the border into Mexico to buy birth control pills, where some U.S. brands sell over the counter … There are many different methods of birth control, including hormonal contraception such as \"the pill.\" Women take the pill by mouth to prevent pregnancy, and, when taken correctly, it is up to 99.9% effective. There is no reason women should have to obtain a prescription for this common, safe and … We must fight for a future in which no one will be afraid to go to the doctor because of their immigration status and people of color won’t have to face racism when interacting with the medical system. An over-the-counter pill would reduce the unnecessary barriers that stand between women and the birth control they need, which disproportionately affect low-income, poor and young women, and would increase opportunities for all people to access safe, effective contraception. Since taking the pill is a daily practice and not a decision made in the heat of the moment, like using a condom, lead researcher Krishna Upadhya, M.D., M.P.H. The armed rampage at the U.S. Capitol on Jan 6th was not the end of their attacks on democracy. Birth control pills meet all of those requirements, which is why the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommended that it be available over the counter back in 2012. Making birth control available over the counter is a no brainer, but it sends a strong message to people that sex can be just for pleasure, that women’s bodies aren’t just for making babies, and that women are capable of making the decision about how they take care of their bodies. That’s part of the future we must fight for, in which everyone has the resources necessary to decide whether to become a parent, and parent the children they decide to have in safe and sustainable communities. Hello Giggles is a registered trademark of Meredith Corporation All Rights Reserved. Pharmacists are often asked by women if there is a birth control pill that they could buy over-the-counter (OTC) and when they are told that there is none, the same women often question why that is so. Kelly Blanchard is the president of Ibis Reproductive Health, which runs the day-to-day operations of Free the Pill, a campaign to educate and engage the public in support of an over-the-counter birth control option in the United States. Despite the fact that we need to keep fighting political attacks on birth control insurance coverage and access, we also don’t want to lose sight of the future that reproductive justice advocates are fighting for: truly accessible sexual and reproductive health care for all people and the ability for every person to make decisions about their own bodies and lives with dignity. America seems to have a massive problem with women making decisions about their reproductive and sexual health, which is why there are constant battles with insurance companies about covering the costs of birth control. Other legislators clutch their pearls about making birth control readily available since they think it will lead to more teen sex and STDs, which, like, huh? Over-the-counter birth control wouldn’t be possible for methods that require insertion or administration by someone like a doctor, such as IUDs, the arm implant, and the birth control shot. A spermicide uses chemicals to kill sperm or stop it from getting into your uterus. Everyone deserves access to high-quality contraception. Since the birth control pill first came on the market more than 50 years ago, women have made enormous strides. The college is hoping this … Instead of increasing, maternal mortality will decline and everyone will be able to access information, services and supportive care, regardless of race. Leaving no one behind also means we must pay attention to affordability and ensure that any over-the-counter pill is covered by insurance. You can buy spermicide as a cream, foam, film, gel, tablet, or suppository. We must fight for a future in which young people across the country also get high-quality sex education that empowers them to make decisions to protect their health. Ninety-nine percent of US women aged 15-44 who have ever had sex have used contraceptives to prevent pregnancy, manage health conditions and ensure autonomy over their own bodies. It’s infuriating when you think about it (well, you don’t have to think that hard to get angry about this), because really, birth control should already be available over the counter so that women have access to it whenever they want. There’s a good chance you can get low-cost or free birth control pills if you have health insurance. When a person decides to have a child, they and their family are fully supported with quality pregnancy-related care, paid leave and affordable child care. Research shows that more women might start using the pill if they could get it over the counter: In a recent study, nearly 1 in 4 adults and teens currently not using any birth control method said they would use an over-the-counter pill. Making a birth control pill available over the counter will help ensure everyone can get the birth control they need, when they need it. They should have information about sexually transmitted infections, birth control use — including how to negotiate that with partners — gender identity and relationships. There are some good reasons for making the birth control pill available at pharmacies, no prescription needed. We stigmatize teen pregnancy, although the rates are at historic lows, according to the CDC. If you believe hormonal birth control pills should be available over the counter, contact your state’s congressional delegation. Most American women wish they could purchase their pills without a prescription. While having a Pap smear or pelvic exam is important for other health reasons, there’s no medical reason to make it a prerequisite for birth control. Having birth control chosen for and prescribed to us isn’t always effective in terms of finding the pill that works best for our bodies. Over-The-Counter Birth Control Pills Would Be Safe For Teens, Researchers Say. In December 2016, French pharmaceutical company HRA Pharma formally began the process of bringing an OTC progestin-only pill — in other words, what we now know as a minipill — to market in the US. We don’t know how long it will take to get approved for over-the-counter use and when it would be allowed on shelves. An over-the-counter birth control pill that is affordable and available to people of all ages is a critical step in that direction. There’s a greater possibility of over-the-counter birth control pills becoming widely available in the US than there once was. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the pill is the most popular form of birth control among women, especially teenagers, with 54 percent of them using it between the ages of 15 to 19, which is also when women are at highest risk for an unintended pregnancy. |, A purple shampoo hack that will truly keep your blonde hair from going brassy, 10 Reasons Why You're Dreaming About Your Ex, 7 ways to clean gunky earrings to make your bling sparkle like new, 10 tricks to make your hair look super shiny and healthy, Fire, water, earth, or air—here's what your zodiac element reveals about you, 15 ways your relationship changes after the honeymoon stage ends, 15 movies about love that are actually super depressing, birth control should already be available over the counter, young people would be more likely to use them, progestin-only birth control pills are so safe. Women should have the choice of getting over-the-counter birth control instead of forcing women into a doctor's office for an exam that they may be uncomfortable with. TO: Interested Parties DATE: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 RE: The Truth About Over-the-Counter Access to Birth Control As part of their larger effort to muddy the waters around their unpopular positions on women’s healthand birth control, some politicians, including Cory Gardner in Colorado, are proposing to move select forms of birth control over-the-counter. Luckily, French pharmaceutical company HRA Pharma and the nonprofit Ibis Reproductive Health have partnered to walk a progestin-only pill through the long, bureaucratic process. Black and Hispanic teen birth rates are twice as high as those of white teenagers. It takes a long time to get the FDA to approve a drug for over-the-counter use, which is another reason we haven’t seen any birth control on the shelves. 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