It would obviously be convenient, but what would it cost?
Over-the-counter birth control is a thing that could maybe exist in the future.
Two states have already made it possible to get a prescription from a pharmacist, rather than going to your doctor.
instagram.com / Via instagram.com
Donald Trump on Thursday told Dr. Oz that he endorses prescription-free birth control.
During Trump's appearance on The Dr. Oz Show, Oz asked him if thought women should be reimbursed for birth control costs.
Trump responded: “When you have to get a prescription, that’s a pretty tough something to climb,” he said. “And I would say it should not be a prescription, it should not be done by prescription.”
He continued, “You have women that just aren’t in a position to go get a prescription. So and more and more people are coming out and saying that, but I am not in favor of prescription for birth control.”
The Doctor Oz Show / Via doctoroz.com
It sounds like a great idea in theory: your birth control right there next to the aspirin or tampons.
No more scheduling a gyno appointment, waiting forever to see a doctor, and sitting in a paper towel with your legs in the stirrups every time you need to renew your Rx. No more dealing with insurance companies who won't give you next month's prescription before you head off on a trip. No more dealing with pharmacists at all, maybe.
But OTC birth control remains a controversial topic in reproductive health community. Here are few things to consider:
First, which methods would be available over the counter?
The most effective reversible birth control methods are the IUD and implant, with a failure rate of less than 1%. But these obviously couldn't live right there on aisle six since they need to be inserted by a doctor. Ditto for the contraceptive shot (which has a failure rate of between 1-6%), which involves an injection by your doctor every three months.
So, when we talk about prescription-free birth control, we're really talking about the pill, the patch, and the ring. While still very effective methods, they're susceptible to more user error. With typical use, these methods can have up to a 9% failure rate.
So it's possible that OTC birth control could affect which methods some women use. “The whole point of the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage piece is that if you take the cost barrier away, then women can choose from the full range of methods and find whats perfect for them,” Rachel Fey, director of public policy at the National Campaign, told BuzzFeed Health.
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