7 Facts About Opill, the First OTC Birth Control Pill

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From physician’s appointments to prescriptions to price obstacles, getting dependable, efficient contraception hasn’t at all times been a straightforward course of. However all that’s altering as we speak, as Opill—the primary over-the-counter (OTC) birth control pill—begins hitting cabinets at shops throughout the nation.

The capsule is without doubt one of the hottest types of contraception and has been utilized by tens of millions of individuals for over 60 years, because the Meals & Drug Administration (FDA) first authorized oral contraception in 1960. Final 12 months, in a momentous transfer, the FDA approved Opill as the primary contraception capsule to be used with no prescription.

This marked a historic advancement in entry to contraception, permitting extra folks to take management of their reproductive and sexual well being. 

Because the colourful bins develop into extensively accessible each in shops and on-line, it’s necessary to grasp how Opill works, who can use it, the place to seek out it, and what to anticipate while you take it. Let’s dive into the highest seven issues it’s essential to know earlier than you choose up Opill.

1. Opill is a “mini capsule”

Opill is a every day progestin-only birth control pill that stops being pregnant primarily by thickening cervical mucus, making it tougher for the sperm and egg to satisfy.It really works a bit in a different way from combined hormonal birth control pills that comprise each progestin and estrogen, which additionally usually cease ovulation altogether.

Progestin-only capsules, also called the mini pill, have to be taken on the similar time every single day to be efficient at stopping being pregnant.

2. It’s protected for many individuals, but it surely’s not proper for everybody

Opill, like different progestin-only capsules, is a protected and efficient contraception capsule that may be taken by most individuals who can get pregnant. When used as directed, Opill is 98 p.c efficient at stopping being pregnant (only a tad lower than mixed hormonal contraception capsules). 

You shouldn’t use Opill or any other brand of mini pill in case you at present have breast most cancers. Likewise, discuss to your well being care supplier earlier than utilizing the mini capsule in case you have any of the next:

  • A historical past of most cancers
  • Unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • Liver illness or a liver tumor
  • A historical past of bariatric surgical procedure
  • Lupus

Additionally discuss to your supplier about whether or not the mini-pill is protected for you in case you’re taking anticonvulsant medication, like seizure medicines.

3. You should buy it in shops or on-line

By mid-April, Opill will be on store shelves in any respect main retailers, together with drug shops, pharmacies, and comfort shops throughout the U.S. and its territories. You’ll not want a prescription to get Opill, which means you should purchase it identical to you’ll a bottle of Tylenol or tube of sunscreen. Nevertheless, some shops and retailers may choose to lock up Opill, which means you will have to speak to somebody who works there to have it unlocked. 

Moreover, you’ll be able to order Opill on-line from most main retailers in addition to straight from the maker, pharmaceutical firm Perrigo.

4. The price may differ relying on the place you purchase it

The instructed retail worth of Opill is $19.99 for a one-month supply, $49.99 ($16.66/month) for a three-month provide, and $89.99 ($14.99/month) for a six-month provide (this latter possibility can be accessible on-line solely). Nevertheless, it is going to be as much as particular person retailers to set their worth, which can differ throughout shops and areas. 

For individuals who need assistance affording the capsule, Opill.com can have a value help program accessible quickly.

5. You may simply swap Opill to your present technique of contraception

That’s proper—you’ll be able to swap from one other technique of contraception (hormonal or not) to Opill straight away. You will have to make use of a backup technique of contraception (like condoms) for a pair days, although, depending on which method you’re using proper now and the way constant you’ve been. 

Should you’re at present utilizing a hormonal technique (for instance, different manufacturers of contraception capsules) and have been persistently utilizing that technique, you can begin taking Opill the day you get it and cease taking your previous capsule. Should you’re switching from a combination pill to Opill, you’ll wish to be sure to swap throughout your energetic weeks, not your placebo week. Should you swap throughout your placebo week, you’ll have to make use of a backup technique for 48 hours after starting Opill.  

Should you’re on a nonhormonal technique of contraception, haven’t been utilizing your hormonal technique persistently, or are at present not on any contraception, you’ll want to make use of a backup technique of contraception for 48 hours after beginning Opill. 

6. You might need unwanted side effects

Identical to different manufacturers of the mini capsule, some folks might expertise side effects on Opill. These might embody bleeding modifications, sore breasts, nausea, zits, or a change in your intercourse drive. 

Opill is a four-week energetic capsule pack, so you’ll not have a withdrawal bleed throughout the placebo week, like with the mix capsule. You will have intermittent recognizing, although, which is regular.

7. Consistency is essential

It’s necessary to take Opill at the same time every day or inside a three-hour window of that point for it to be efficient at stopping being pregnant. So, say you’re taking your capsule at 8 a.m. every single day; if the subsequent day you’re taking it after 11 a.m., you’ll have to make use of a backup contraception technique for 48 hours (whereas persevering with to take Opill as directed). 

In different phrases, if you’re three or extra hours late to your capsule or miss a capsule at any time, use a backup technique like a condom in case you have intercourse within the subsequent two days.

The takeaway

Opill is step one in bridging the hole in folks’s entry to contraception and their capacity to take management of their reproductive well being journey.

However whereas it’s a complete game-changer that contraception capsules are actually accessible OTC, Opill may not be proper for everybody. For most individuals, contraception is a journey, and nobody technique goes to work for everybody on a regular basis. Individuals usually undergo a number of strategies over the course of their life, and having data about and entry to many strategies is vital to finding a birth control method you like. 

In case you have any questions on Opill or aren’t certain if it’s best for you, discuss to your OB/GYN or major care supplier.

Raegan McDonald-Mosley, MD, MPH, is a board-certified OB/GYN and the CEO of Power to Decide, a company with a mission to advance sexual and reproductive well-being for all.

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