Birth control pills
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The First OTC Birth Control Pill Will Be Available To Buy For $20 Later This Month


For the first time in history, American women will be able to access over-the-counter birth control pills later this month. The Opill, which is a progestin-only birth control pill, will hit shelves later in March and it’s a significant moment in history, considering women have been forced to deal with doctors and clinics and other middle men to access birth control pills for decades.

Opill will be made available for $19.99 per month or $49.99 for a three month supply, according to CNN, and perhaps most significantly, anyone who wants to buy the first over-the-counter birth control pill from manufacturer Perrigo will be able to do so without a prescription. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved Opill last July; Patrizia Cavazzoni, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement last year that this “approval marks the first time a nonprescription daily oral contraceptive will be an available option for millions of people in the United States.”

The over-the-counter birth control pills are currently being shipped to retailers across the country, and packs are expected to be made available for purchase by the end of the month.

Opill, which is sometimes also referred to as a “mini pill,” is used as a contraceptive as it “thickens cervical mucus and thins the lining of the uterus. These prevent sperm from reaching the egg and a fertilized egg from implanting in the womb,” according to the Mayo Clinic. “When used as directed, daily oral contraception is safe and is expected to be more effective than currently available non-prescription contraceptive methods in preventing unintended pregnancy,” Patrizia Cavazonni said at the time of Opill’s approval.

While people using a combination pill, which uses both estrogen and progestin, will stop ovulating, about half of the users who take a mini pill that only includes progestin will still ovulate. Opill needs to be taken at the same time every day to prevent pregnancy, and is effective 48 hours after you take it. Opill is a daily contraceptive rather than an emergency contraceptive like Perrigo’s other product known as Plan B, an oral pill that is taken 72 hours after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy.