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Over The Counter Birth Control: Easier Access, but Right Choices?

Published on 09/05/23

Is over-the-counter BC the right form of contraception for you?

Opill, a long-prescribed form of birth control, has made its debut on American shelves as an over-the-counter birth control. This new option marks a significant milestone for those who lack access to birth control without insurance. With over 100 countries already embracing this change, 2024 brings the United States into this transformative global movement, impacting the lives of countless American women. 

Yes, this is an option now, but is it the right option for you? Let’s dive deeper into the differences between this over-the-counter choice and the many prescribed options. For expert insights, 21ninety asked Dr. Daniel Roshan, a world-renowned NYC high-risk maternal-fetal OBGYN to give us his perspective.


Understanding The Difference

According to Dr. Roshan, “The over-the-counter birth control pill is a progesterone-only pill, whereas the prescribed birth control pills are combinations of estrogen and progesterone. They can regulate the cycle based on the dose and strength of the hormones they contain.”


Here, we discover a key distinction: the over-the-counter pill may potentially disrupt your menstrual cycle and render it irregular. If you’re seeking birth control to regulate your period, it’s essential to recognize that this may not be the ideal choice for you. Dr. Roshan advises individuals who are already on a prescribed pill that’s working well for their body to stick with it. As he emphasizes, “If a pill is effective, there’s generally no need to change it.”


Right Option or Just Accessible? 

While the over-the-counter option provides accessibility for those without insurance, Dr. Roshan concludes with a crucial reminder: “It should not replace consulting a doctor and receiving proper counseling on all available options and potential side effects.” Prioritizing informed decisions and your unique health needs should always remain paramount.


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