Should the Birth-Control Pill Be Sold Without a Prescription?

[deleted account] ( 34 moms have responded )

http://www.newsweek.com/2010/07/07/shoul...

I particularly liked this excerpt from the above article:

That last bit usually means a potentially expensive and time-consuming doctor’s visit as well as an invasive pelvic exam. The questions are: Is the pill safe to use without a doctor’s examination? And will women still get cancer screening if they don’t have to go to their gynecologist for a pill pack?

And should that matter? “Holding birth control hostage until women have had a pelvic exam is a paternalistic attitude to women’s health,” says Dr. Daniel Grossman, a senior researcher at Ibis and an active member of the group. “The Pap smear is for cancer screening, not contraception, and we shouldn’t spread misinformation by linking the two.”

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Tabitha - posted on 08/12/2010

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No! Birth control should absolutly not be a prescription! Keep in mind the hard fiinacial times we are in right now! Not everyone has health insurance that can pay for these doctors visits and exams! By making it a prescription you are not allowing us "lower class" people to have access to proper birth control and therefore unwanted pregnancies can arise.

[deleted account]

Yes, but not everyone knows those things. People are still shocked when they have side effects from meds that are clearly written on the package. If people just start pumping themselves with hormones and then get cancer or something the lawsuits will start flying. It will never happen. I would hope that your doctor would tell you if he didn't think a particular birth control method is right for you. That's part of his job.

Rosie - posted on 08/12/2010

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you have to go every month and wait everytime to get birth control pills? i only had to go once a year, doctor asks your medical history, and decides whether or not the pill is right, and which one is right for me. after that initial visit, i just went to planned parenthood and got a new pack every month. sometimes they'd give me like 3 months at a time.

sometimes it does take trial and error just like you stated. do you really think that people know for themselves which one is the one they need? people are idiots laci!! it's been proven over and over again, lol!! i know someone who died from a clot in her head at age 25, caused by birth control. they are dangerous, and that danger increases with family history of clots, and some pills you shouldn't take at all if you have some kidney,liver or adrenal disease, certain cancers, and a history of bloodclots or stroke. people will be stupid, not understand the consequences, and take them anyway.
as for the morning after pill being available without a prescription, you aren't taking that pill everyday. it's a most likely a one time thing.
i also feel people shouldn't be penalized for other peoples stupidness, but this is about life and death. not anything else. as much as i hate to admit it, stupid people have the right to live too, lol!! :)

LaCi - posted on 08/12/2010

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Hey it's not my fault people are morons. I shouldn't be punished for it. If they aren't capable of reading a simple warning label-which all medications have and all warning labels should obvously be read- then that's their own fault. No, the lawsuits would not be flying because all the information is clearly stated on the package. Anyone who thinks ANY medication has no side effects is a moron, plain and simple, and their MD can't fix stupid. Just saying.



Its a wasted 4 hours every month or so, so I stopped, because the doc was useless in helping me find something suitable and I'm sick of going through new methods. So no, I won't pay extra and waste time dealing with the trial and error of new birth control methods every month.



I'd love to know the serious side effects from taking a standard dose of BC for a month (or a lo-dose) that are so severe that it's even a concern. Every new doc I've seen has initially started my on a standard dose pill, and adjusted after the fact. There is not super magical calculation as to which BC will work for a particular individual, they guess, it's trial and error. Which is why I've been on a ridiculous variety of hormonal forms, because it's trial and error. Maybe we should print the warning label in bright red letters on the front of the package?



As I said before, EC is available over the counter, is is essentially the same, it's side effects are the same, and no permission slip is required. It's not right to have the EMERGENCY last resort pill out there OTC and have the preventative measure available via prescription only.



And MANY OTC meds have SEVERE side effects, they are STILL OTC. Why? Because you're supposed to freakin' read and take your medication responsibly/correctly.

Tah - posted on 08/12/2010

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birth control pills have side affects including blood clots and strokes, if on it, you shouldn't smoke etc...so no, it shouldn't be...also tere are different doses and some people due to medical or family history should not be on them, they require a prescription for a reason so..again NO..



@Laci , we can't take forgranted that everyone knows what you know, everyone can't take the same dose as you, doesn't have the same history as you, may do other things that would increase their risk for blood clots, stroke or death..and there is a chick that is 29 having her 7th kid because she didnt think you get pregnant when breastfeeding...so some people need things explained really slowly and in great detail...sorry for the wasted 4 hours, take the first appointment of the day and get there early..lol

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Sally - posted on 08/22/2010

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Because of the risks of strokes among other things, I think it should remain an RX. There is more to the pill then simple birth control. But I do think the RX should remain active for a longer time period. Like 2 years rather than one.

Stephany - posted on 08/22/2010

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I don't know if birth control should be available without a prescription. There are definitely risks associated with taking ANY medication, so I tend to think some kind of interaction with a medical professional is warranted.
I do think that the medical establishment shoudl change their practices a little, though. For the purposes of a typical birth control presciption there is very little need for a physical examination. I think that these should be able to be handled over the phone with a nurse or doctor. In fact, I think a LOT of doctor's appointments could be handled this way, unless the reason for the appointment is something that requires a physical examination.
Truth be told, I had a hysterectomy last summer because of ovarian cancer. Besides starting menopause at age 24 while having two very small children to care for, I haven't regretted it at all. Thank god birth control is in the past for me.

[deleted account]

Tabitha I think you've misread the post. It says should birth control be available without a prescription AKA over the counter.

Leah - posted on 08/20/2010

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Wow i'm on the fence about this one lol. On one side, I would love it if it was available without a prescription. For one thing, the doctor shortage up here where I live in Canada has left my husband and I w/o a doctor (I was able to secure a pediatrician for my two kids thank god!) so we are having to resort to the old fashioned was of BC (good ol' fashioned condoms) which we are both not too fond of. And the sexual health clinic's here only cater to people under the age of 19 so outta luck there. So until we can find a family doctor, we are kinda stuck. So I would love it if I could walk into a pharmacy and buy it right there. I do understand the one side of the argument, where lots of things are sold over the counter that could be potentinally harmful. Even Tylenol taken in high doses can be lethal. But I also understand that every women is different and should have a doctor examine her. I dont know, it would be really convient and helpful to alot of people if we could get it over the counter but for the few that might be harmed by it, probably not worth the risk.

Brittany - posted on 08/19/2010

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A doctor needs to be involved because the types of birth control available are made of different hormones and different levels of those hormones and you need a professional to help you find what is best for you. Trial and error with hormones is no light matter!

[deleted account]

Over here in the UK the pill and other forms of contraception are available free from your doctor, family planning clinic or sexual health clinic so I see no need for the pill to be sold over the counter nor is it safe. Here teenagers can get contraception without parental consent as soon as they feel they need it. I was put on the pill at the age of 13 with the knowledge of my parents but because I was diagnosed with PCOS so the pill helped control my periods.

The morning after pill isn't available over the counter either, you must see a pharmicist, doctor or someone at a family planning clinic to obtain it. As for the pelvic exam issue, we only have cervical smears every 3 years from the age of 25, so I have yet to have one!

[deleted account]

Adding that I don't think kids should need parental permission to get a prescription for the pill, but at that age should the non-parental permission thing apply? I've heardof kids becoming sexually active as young as 9. That seems pretty young to me!

Lyndsay - posted on 08/14/2010

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I didn't really read the article... I don't think it should be available without a prescription, because there are so many different types that do different things, but I agree with others who have said teens shouldn't need parental permission to get it. I was originally put on a low-dose birth control pill at 13 to help with my acne, and I never recieved any physical exam. I've been on several different brands of birth control pill over the years, especially after having my son, and I've never had to get a physical exam for any of them. I just told the doc my issue (irregular periods, cramping, whatever) and we switched to a new one.

[deleted account]

Definitely shouldn't be available over the counter. It's a drug, not a lolly! Not every type of pill is suitable for every woman. In Australia you usually get enough repeats to last about a year. But it's not something you want to mess around with, so check with the doctor.

Rosie - posted on 08/13/2010

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i did laci!! hehe!! i got it from the yaz birthcontrol pills website, off their humongous warning list!! i've been known to be stupid every now and then, i don't wish to die from it though, lol!! i'm not allergic to peanuts, but a kid in my sons preschool is. well we were told to make cookies for their graduation. i hadn't made monster cookies in a while and wanted some so i started gathering everything. i got sooooo enthralled trying to figure out if m&ms have peanuts in them that i COMPLETELY forgot the MAIN ingredient in these cookies is peanut butter. i sat there for seriously hours asking people researching online if i could use m&ms, and i asked my husband and he goes to me, uh, kati.....aren't monster cookies made with peanut butter? yeah, stupid me, i almost killed a little preschooler cause i'm an idiot. i can totally see how people miss things. :)

Charlene - posted on 08/13/2010

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I think that it's better for them to be prescription.
Not only are there incredibly irresponsible people out there who neglect to research, but if you have a problem with your birth control don't you think a doctor would be better suited to pin point what is causing the side effect? I think your doctor would have a better idea of which BC or which dosage you need to switch to in order to change that.
Ugh.. this is better explained in my head.. I just don't have the right words at the moment.

And lmao at milk warnings. This is terrible.
Although, the M&M's one isn't that bad, unless it doesn't say *Warning, contains peanuts*. I know a girl who is allergic to almonds, but not peanuts. ;)

[deleted account]

Im Alergic to peanuts but a bag of peanut M&M's says caution may contain Almonds?!?!? What the heck lol...I always get confused on that one...

[deleted account]

Toni, you think the Snickers warning label is stupid...
Milk has an allergy warning on it stating that it contains MILK. LOL.

So if people don't know that milk contains milk then they probably shouldn't be picking out their own hormonal birth control.

[deleted account]

I absolutely agree with the pill being prescription only, there is a reason it is a prescription drug it can be dangerous (I am now not allowed to take it due to an increased risk of pill induced hypertension) and LaCi people ARE STUPID we have to cater for the least intelligent (this is why when you buy a Snickers it states that it may contain nuts) so yes YOU may be a font of all knowledge when it comes to BC but there are many people who are not, I feel for you wasting 4 hours every month but most of us don't have this kind of an issue I think you could be an exception to the rule.



Wow I can't believe you guys get pap tests every year we have them every 3-5 years unless there is a problem found. I think we could do with yearly though they are really important!



Oh and back to the pill I had to have a blood pressure test at least once a year (although they prefered twice) and that was pretty much it for tests - and I always had a 6 month supply.

LaCi - posted on 08/12/2010

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Kati LOL "and that danger increases with family history of clots, and some pills you shouldn't take at all if you have some kidney,liver or adrenal disease, certain cancers, and a history of bloodclots or stroke"

Did you just quote a birth control commercial? This is what I'm talking about. If someone can't read a fucking warning label it's natural freakin' selection and quite frankly, I don't have sympathy. We KNOW there are risks with ALL medications. SERIOUS risks, ALL medications.

Natural selection. There is no room on the bus of life for people who can't read a label.

Rosie - posted on 08/12/2010

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i usually got mine from planned parenthood, and they would only give me 1 pack at a time, if i begged they would do 3 packs, but this was when i had no insurance. WITH insurance, our insurance company would only allow one month of medication at a time. i think some insurance companies are fine with it, some aren't.

LaCi - posted on 08/12/2010

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I thought I explained-I had been trying various types to try to find one that didn't have some side effect I wasn't willing to put up with. So I'd give each a month or two, and end up switching. The script obviously does not carry over to a different type of BC. They didn't used to effect me, for the most part, for some reason after having nico they have mad side effects.

Jodi - posted on 08/12/2010

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I'm curious about this having to go back to the doctor ever y month thing too.....here, they always give us 12 months worth at a time. And the prescription is as simple as dropping it off at the pharmacy, go off to do my shopping and pick it up once I'm done, so it's actually not that big a deal.

Not that I need to worry about it any more, my hubby's vasectomy solved that, LOL. But having to go back every 12 months to get a prescription is a sensible thing, because we should be having annual check ups anyway.

Jane - posted on 08/12/2010

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@Laci...I always enjoy your rants :) I agree with you in some respects but I've just seen so many women have problems and if it were over the counter, I believe that there would be more women at risk. Just my opinion!

Jane - posted on 08/12/2010

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Yeah, I'm not so sure about it being over the counter. I've known too many women who have had problems with the pill and had to change types or go off of them for one reason or another. Under a doctors care is necessary in my opinion. PLUS, it's not like you have to go to the doctor every month...1 time a year and you should be going 1 time a year anyway for a physical and a pap!

[deleted account]

When I was on the pill I went once, got the prescription filled and that was that. When it ran out all I had to do was call for a refill. I didn't go back until the next year unless something came up that I needed to see that doctor for.

Meghan - posted on 08/12/2010

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Yeah it's a pain in the ass to have to pack up your kid..sit in the waiting room and get a perscription everytime. I totally agree with the inital going into see the doc, getting the right dosage, having all your questions answered...making sure that particular type is right for you...but once you find one that works there should be a way to record it on file at your pharmacy and just go there when need be.

Jaime - posted on 08/12/2010

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I don't think birth control should need a prescription. I also don't think that doctor's should refuse to perform tubal ligation or a hysterectomy at a woman's request. All that said, I DO think that women should be given the facts, the risks, the pros, the cons on all situations before making a decision...I just don't think it's helpful to make these options so inaccessible.

LaCi - posted on 08/12/2010

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The morning after pill is available over the counter. Birth control should have the same regulations. I think it's ridiculous that I have to see my doctor everytime I want to switch birth control methods. I have to go in, wait for 2 hours, tell him what I want, get the script, have if filled (Another hour) it's a ridiculous fucking hassle for a pill. If someone can't read, then maybe they should see a doc to have someone explain it to them. For the rest of us literate folks, we are entitled to get a freakin BC without jumping through hoops. So theres 4 hours of my life gone every time I want to switch to a different method, All so I can TELL the doctor to write me up such and such, no conversation. I'm 25 freakin' years old, I've been on various birth control methods, I know my freakin' risks. Not to mention the added cost if someone has to pay for a visit AND the prescription. In fact, this is one reason I gave up on finding a new birth control method. It's a ridiculous fucking hassle for something that will probably make me feel like shit anyway.



Theres my rant for the day.

[deleted account]

I agree with Kati. There are different dosages of hormones and not all types of birth control (pill, patch, ring, etc) are right for every woman.

Rosie - posted on 08/12/2010

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oh i think it's silly they need parents permission as well. just not ahving a doctor actually look at you first is a huge mistake. :)

[deleted account]

I think its silly that kids need to have a parents permission to get it though...I think we would have a lot smaller teen mom ratio and unwanted pregnancies if this were not the case possibly a lower abortion rate as well...I know other countries do not do it like this and their teen parent and abortion percentage is much lower than the USA

Rosie - posted on 08/12/2010

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i didn't read the article, but no i don't think it's a good idea at all. there's a reason it's prescribed, and not just so that we can keep kids off of it without parental knowledge. people die because of the pill, and if there is a past family history of blood clots, it can be very dangerous for that person to be on the pill. plus, the doctor knows which kind will be best for you and your certain circumstances. i can just see women who are breastfeeding taking the wrong pill and giving all sorts of hormones to their babies. or someone with liver problems taking yaz. plus they do bring up a point about yearly exams. some people wouldn't get them if they knew they could get the pill without having to go to the doctor. i think it's a horrible idea.

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