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    Birth Control Pills Over-the-Counter?
    Olivia_WebMD_Staff posted:
    The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recently published an opinion that oral contraceptives (birth control pills) should be sold without prescription in order to further reduce unintended pregnancy.

    Check out the story and tell us what YOU think and why.

    deadmanwalking57 responded:
    No. That would seem to encourage even more teen or even PRE-TEEN sex.

    How about pediatricians talk about self-esteem and self respect to older children, avoid being used.
    laura2gemini2 replied to deadmanwalking57's response:
    That's like saying having condoms over the counter encourages teen or pre-teen sex. It's gonna happen whether or not birth control is available. Since it's gonna happen anyway, why not have something to prevent high school pregnancies from happening?
    SoCalSuz replied to deadmanwalking57's response:
    Respectively DeadManWalking - HUH? So for those too? Just take those right out of the drug store?

    This isn't a debate about teen or PRE-TEEN sex, this is a discussion about access to birth control without a prescription. Unwanted/unplanned pregnancy - for a teen, pre-teen, single women or married couples - can have a devastating impact on many levels - both personal and on society as a whole. I can't for the life of me think of one reason why less birth control or making birth control more difficult for women to access is a good idea.

    I'll go ahead and veer completely off the topic and address DMW's point: It would be wonderful if all parents, pediatricians, educators and caregivers had an ongoing discussion with kids from childhood through adulthood about self-esteem and self-respect. However, no matter how many conversations, laws, birth control barriers or abstinence movements are launched, some kids are going to "do it". And I hope that they have easy access to birth control, know how to use it and use it correctly.

    timvasi responded:
    The way I see it... I don't think something like oral contraceptives should be over the counter. Something that changes the way the body functions needs to be monitored by a physician.

    Socially thinking... teens who have sex are going to do so regardless... however it is possible that it may "inspire" teens who have thus far held back in fear of an unwanted pregnancy. I think its the parents job to teach values and the potential consequences of unprotected sex be that unwanted pregnancy and the possibility of STD's. If they are going to have sex anyway then the parent should take them to the doctors and get the prescription.

    Access and cost do not play a role in my mind. There are Doctors offices all over, and if the cost is a problem, maybe its time to rethink that hot outfit (to make you look sexy) or that smartphone attached to your every waking moment

    The bigger picture is that people in general need to take more responsibility for their actions. If you are going to have sex and don't want to get pregnant, go to the doctor and get a prescription, or use a condemn. If you don't do anything to protect yourself, who do you have to blame but yourself.
    rohvannyn replied to timvasi's response:
    I like that. timvasi says "If you are going to have sex and don't want to get pregnant, go to the doctor and get a prescription, or use a condemn. " I like it because though it was unintentional, the spelling of the word "condom" reminds me of how we treat people who want to have sex. We often condemn them! Safe sex harms no one.

    Anyway, off my tangent. I'm of two minds when it comes to the availability of OTC birth control. It would be nice to have it available, to avoid unplanned pregnancies, but at the same time it also has a pretty big effect on how the body works depending on the type of hormone used and the amount. With customer education it could be just fine. As with any medication there is a risk, whether a doctor gives it to you or not. I'd like to see consumers taking more responsibility for their own health in the form of self-education. There isn't really a way to legislate that, however.

    You can, or could last time I checked, get birth control over the counter in Canada. Could some of our Canadian readers weigh in on this and report how that is working out?
    ctbeth replied to deadmanwalking57's response:
    Pre-teen girls would not have a menstrual cycle and not be able to get pregnant.

    Teenagers need direction to take the pills correctly and to be properly screened.

    They're powerful medicine.
    freetoday replied to testacctuat7's response:
    Pre-teen girls and boys don't need to know how to have sex either but they figure it out to the tune of how many MILLIONS of unwanted babies born every year! That's disgusting.
    fcl replied to freetoday's response:
    Pre-teens? Certainly not millions. When a pre-teen girl has a baby it makes national (and sometimes international) news. Let's try to keep things in proportion.
    dfromspencer responded:
    I have two thoughts on this, 1, i think it would be great to have OTC birth control for emergencies.

    2, The use of birth control needs to be monitored by your dr., they have an effect on your body. Medicine of any kind, should be given by a medical doctor. Just in case of adverse reaction.

    Children, when they reach the pre-teen years, need to be taken to their primary care physician, given a check up, and then prescribed the right B.C. for them. Parents should then keep that prescription handy, for when its needed. Thereafter, the person needing them, can go to the phamacy, and pick it up whenever its needed. Problem solved.
    Jeune1 responded:
    This is a huge deal. ACOG didn't make this recommendation lightly. At the very least it is potentially depriving its members of revenue in the form of patient visits to get a prescription. I also think it is interesting that at least one pharm. company is against the move. Which means I'm even MORE for it.

    For those worried 12 year olds will run out and gobble these up like candy: It could still be sold as an age restricted item. Like cigs.
    SafeGirl responded:
    Prescription pills should be monitored by a doctor. If a girl takes too many at one time to make the abortion pill, it can cause health risks. Also, the pill isn't made for everyone to take. It can cause problems with the heart if there is too much progesterone or too much estrogen. It isn't as "safe" as everyone believes. It also accelerates Endometriosis growths which ends up making a woman infertile and ends up having to have a hysterectomy at a young age. The best birth control is not have sex until you are at an age where you are ready for the responsibility.
    butterflygarden responded:
    I think it's a great idea! However, I do think they should be behind the counter and have to be requested and signed for after the potential side effects are outlined by the pharmacist, just like meds with pseudoephedrine.

    Let's make them easier to acquire and less expensive and take the insurance companies completely out of the mix.


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