Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

FDA approves first over-the-counter birth control

Kylar Royer

The FDA recently approved Opill, an oral contraceptive for over-the-counter use. Opill is the first contraceptive approved within the United States that does not require a prescription.

It has been fifty years since Opill was initially approved by the FDA for prescription uses. Throughout those fifty years, the manufacturers have been working towards expanding the drug’s accessibility to include over-the-counter options. The switch was approved in July 2023 and will be available to consumers starting in 2024.

Opill contains a hormone called progestin, which reduces chances of unwanted pregnancies. However, it is not an emergency contraceptive, nor does it protect against STDs since the drug works as a preventative measure or regulation of a hormonal imbalance.

Oral contraceptives can be taken for multiple reasons, not just to prevent pregnancy. “Hormonal contraception can regulate hormone imbalance, reduce the severity of menstrual bleeding and pain and reduce the risk of certain cancers,” said Wellbeing Education Coordinator Jamie Singh. “Hormonal contraception may not be for everyone, but for those who do need it, over-the-counter birth control is a major victory.”

Over six million pregnancies happen in the United States every year, and approximately half are unwanted. “One of the biggest barriers to contraception access is being broken with the introduction of over-the-counter birth control,” Singh said. Having Opill available in convenience stores, grocery stores and online stores makes contraceptives more accessible.

Opill must be taken at the same time each day to be effective. Other medications can also lower the effectiveness of the contraceptive. Individuals who have pre-existing health conditions or who take other medications should contact their physicians before taking Opill to ensure that Opill is beneficial.

In speaking about Opill and its many uses, Singh emphasized how access to contraception is one of the most important preventative health measures one can use. “Now women can take another step in advocating for their own health and wellbeing — without the need of another person.”

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About the Contributor
Kylar Royer
Kylar Royer, Assistant Photo Editor

Kylar Royer (he/him) is a class of 2023 biology major  and a minor in psychology graduating this fall. He will be attending Parker University next summer pursuing a doctorate of chiropractic and masters in clinical neuroscience. Kylar has been a photographer for over 5 years and joined The Paisano staff in fall 2022, this is his first semester as the assistant photo editor. Outside of school, you will Kylar reading about natural medicine and philosophy accompanied by Dixieland jazz music.

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  • J

    JovenSep 6, 2023 at 12:06 am

    This article was extremely informative i am glad to know young individuals such as the writer are out there doing research on topics just like this!
    Great job author!!