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Over The Counter Contraceptives

By Sydney Cook
Posted On Apr 02, 2016
Over The Counter Contraceptives

 

Oregon and California have put into effect measures that will allow women to obtain birth control pills directly from pharmacies without a doctor’s prescription.

In Oregon, this law, which is the first of its kind, rang in the New Year with some celebrations and some condemnations as it took effect on January 1. The new law provides access to hormonal birth control pills and patches for women age 18 and older. Other birth control methods, such as IUDs or implants still need a doctor’s prescription. California recently decided to follow suit, though their law places no age restrictions.

With this new regulation, however, the contraceptives won’t be at a grab-and-go convenience like Tylenol or Motrin. The state of Oregon requires women of age to fill out a special health questionnaire and submit blood pressure tests – at that point, if everything looks good, the pharmacist will supply the patient with contraceptives. Women under 18 still need a prescription from a doctor to receive birth control from a pharmacist, though researchers believe this law will change in a few years.

Aside from the obvious benefit of this law helping to fight unintended pregnancies, some positive health side effects include much lighter and less painful menstrual periods, reduced risks of ovarian and fallopian tube cancers, and pain relief from endometriosis. Additionally, with OTC birth control, costs are cut which is also an important step to making the contraceptive more accessible.

With contraceptives becoming more easily accessible, it is important for women to know that birth control pills do not offer protection against sexually transmitted diseases, and they also have their own set of side effects. It is imperative for women to continue seeing gynecologists for annual check-ups, despite not having to go for birth control.

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