Birth Control Pills Over the Counter

Birth Control Pills

Over the Counter Birth Control Pills

Suprisingly enough, obstetricians and gynecologists across the United States agree that birth control pills should be available over the counter. This does not mean the physicians think women should quite undergoing PAP smears and annual exams as the purpose for those visits it to detect disease. Catching vaginal cancer early is the difference between life and death. What it does mean, is women could walk into any drug store and purchase their birth control pills without a doctor visit. For someone without medical insurance, this would be fantastic. It would also be useful if a woman was running low on pills and could not get a doctor appointment in time. Women that are over the age of 17 can already purchase the morning after pill without a doctor visit.

View of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists stated that cost issues and access are two of the reasons many women do not use birth control pills. There are several countries that already sell these pills without a prescription; however, that does not include Canada or most of Europe.

One of the problem areas is tied into Obamacare and the new insurance requirements. If an individual is employed, the insurance policy for that company must provide FDA approved contraceptive at no cost to the employee. Of course, this will not cover all the women in the U.S. that want to take birth control pills, which means women would have to pay for their pills.

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Procedure to Get Pills for OTC

First, the government would have to give permission to a company to manufacture the over the counter contraceptive. The physicians are also concerned about the cost. They want these pills to be distributed at an affordable cost to consumers. They are willing to meet with any company to discuss this matter. They feel this plan would be successful, and they compare it to nicotine patches and gum went on sale. Attempts to quit smoking nearly doubled in the first year.

In Conclusion

There are certainly valid arguments on the other side of the issue. Some women do not tolerate some birth control pills and may need to see a physician to make sure they are taking the right dosage. Some parents will argue that OTC contraceptives will encourage risky behavior.

Adherence may be another aspect that is discussed; however, adherence can be a problem whether the pills are purchased OTC or by prescription. Religious beliefs will probably come into the argument as well. While the emergency contraception pills (the morning after) are available, not everyone liked the way the FDA handled the situation. Basically women just need to ask the pharmacist for the pill if they are over 17 years old. Therefore, they are not on the drugstore shelves, but may be purchased at the pharmacy.

Please rate this hub.

4.3 out of 5 stars from 6 ratings of OTC Birth Control

Over the Counter Birth Control Pills

Do you think birth control pills should be sold over the counter without a doctor's prescription?

  • I think this is an excellent idea to get contraception for those that do not have insurance.
  • I think it is a good idea if the person had at least one doctor checkup first to confirm their good health.
  • I think this is not a good idea as side effects may not be recognized.
  • I don't think anyone should get any medicine without seeing a doctor first.
See results without voting

© 2012 Pamela Oglesby

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Comments 23 comments

sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri

Hi Pamela, I am not surprised that the pill is being considered for OTC. You are right, there are good arguments on both sides. I think the major concern you mention is the dosage/hormone level that may cause a woman to get sick. I am sure doctors and nurses would still take the calls, but it would be money wasted during the "guinea pig" phase.

I think young women are going to get them one way or another, just like alcohol and cigarettes. My hope would be that more research would be done before purchasing them, but would a young woman do that if they are OTC?

You have given some great food for thought!

Voted up and interesting! Great Job! :-)


bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

Pam, with two daughters this is certainly an interesting debate. Great job.


Sharkye11 profile image

Sharkye11 3 years ago from Oklahoma

I think this could be very beneficial. Personally, I think it should be a woman's choice as to when to see a doctor about her health. It should also be her choice when to take birth control. Having to have exams to receive birth control is pretty much a violation in my book. "You submit, or we withhold". Health exams are very important, but they don't have to be linked to birth control.

Maybe it just bothers me because I had a really bad experience. I had to go back three times in one week for an exam because the clinic lost the results once, contaminated the specimens once, and forgot to file my information once.

Not only did I have to go through tree exams due to their incompetency, I had to use an alternative for a month, which caused an allergic reaction that nearly put me in the hospital.

That is the option available to women in my state with no insurance. You get to be a guinea pig. No thanks. I would like mine OTC, please.

Great hub, and I am sorry about ranting on it. It is in interesting subject that will draw lots of opinions from all sides. Voting up!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

sholland, I am more concerned about young women also as I don't know if they would do any research and it may fall on the shoulders of the pharmacists. It is an interesting idea but I think it needs to be considered carefully. I appreciate your comments.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

bdegiulio, I think it is a concern for all parents. Thanks for your comments.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Sharkye, You surely did have a bad experience and hope you have a better doctor now. There is really no excuse for what happened to you. That exam isn't exactly pleasant. I think a woman should be able to just go buy the pills. I appreciate you sharing your experience and also your comments.


alphagirl profile image

alphagirl 3 years ago from USA

I think it should go OTC! Would it lower costs? I think it certainly give females added protection ! Women are the ones that bear the brunt in everything! Anything that gives us more control of our bodies and our lives! Liked your hub!!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

I think this is great. A woman should be able to purchase the pills if wanted. Thank you for sharing..


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

alphagirl, I would hope it would lower the cost. Women ultimately have to be responsible for themselves as they bear the brunt of the consequences. Thanks for your comments.

Ruby, I appreciate your comments.


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 3 years ago

I think a woman should be careful when side effects arise. Your points on both side of the story are important. What I know is that a teen of 14-17 does not really have an adult way of thinking. Their volatile decisions might ruin their body and perhaps their lives. We hope things work out good for them.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Joseph, I think teens from 14-17 are too young to buy these pills over the counter and if their parents want them to have birth control, it should be handled through a physician. I agree with your comments and appreciate them.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Pam.....hahahaha ROFLMAO.....I am so sorry, Pam. There is nothing funny about this very useful hub. I'm all in favor of OTC birth control of any type.

What's funny is, when I got down to the end, I asked myself.....Why have you just read a hub on BIRTH CONTROL??? But actually, I'm glad I did. It's nice to know what the latest OTC's are!!

I automatically read hubs written by my hub-friends.....I suppose that's a good thing.....UP+++


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

It would make life simpler for some, but for others I am concerned about taking them without a doctor's guidance. They do have side effects and not knowing how to monitor the usage is a little frightening to think about. Good post and sure to help others to consider the options.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Paula, I read hubs that don't pertain to me also and I appreciate the fact that you read it. I figured it is news and many of us have children and grandchildren, so it is for information. Thanks for your comments.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Diane, You are right, they do have side effects and I know a couple of people that can't take them. However, it would be convenient for those that can take them and don't have insurance. It is an idea that needs careful thought. Thanks for your comments.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

Birth control pills can be a danger. I had a heart attacks when I was 38 the biggest concern with the doctors and nurses I had was that my birth control pills caused the heart atttacks. They never figured it out. I had nurses from different floors stop in and visit me and ask me questions about birth control pills saying they were on them and it worried them. Maybe that is the reason so many young women have heart attacks now days.

I'm not sure if they should be over the counter.

Birth control is free or very little cost, plus exams. All women or teens have to do is see the county nurse at the county health dept. This is available to everyone.

Interesting hub voted up.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

moonlake, Thanks for sharing your experience. When I was an RN and working in cardiac rehab, I had a year old woman as a patient. She was on the pills, she also was on diet pills and smoked, so no one knew exactly why she had the heart attack but probably a combination of the 3 risk factors. You certainly make some very valid points and I appreciate your comments.


aethelthryth profile image

aethelthryth 3 years ago from American Southwest

I have a friend who almost died from blood clots caused by birth control. Also chemical contraception messes up not only the hormones of the woman taking them, but the hormones also get into the water supply for all of us.

As far as Obamacare, it is a moral outrage to require my business to pay for what I see as the killing of early human life. And contraception is a pretty optional expense compared to transportation, so why are we not talking instead about providing transportation to women so they can get to a job so they can pay for things with their own money?


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

aethelthryth, I think women should pay for their own birth control pills also, just as I did. I also don't think tax dollars should pay for abortion.

I know some people have serious side effect from any pill and any problem should certainly be reported to a doctor immediately. Thanks for your comments.


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 3 years ago from Baltimore, MD

This makes a really good point. If the Morning After Pill is available over the counter, why shouldn't birth control pills be available, too? Great hub and voted up!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Jeannie, I do think it is a good idea for woment to have their pap smears and exams if they can afford them. I think selling the pills is kokay but I am not in favor or selling them to minors umder 17. I am concerned they will be more promiscuous and not use protection against6 all the veneral diseases hat are now out there. I think an adult should be able to do what they want. Thanks for your comments.


alphagirl profile image

alphagirl 3 years ago from USA

I have always thought that each woman has a right to her own body. Any minor should have access to OTC drugs with the help of their parent. It is a female decision. Good job Pam!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

alphagirl, I agree fully with your view. Thanks so much for your comments.

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