Over the Counter Birth Control

The first OTC contraceptive, Opill, is on the way to shelves near you without age restrictions.

On July 13, 2023, the Federal Drug Administration approved the first over-the-counter hormonal birth control. The decision will allow American women and girls to obtain potent hormonal contraceptives/abortifacients as quickly as they buy vitamins and aspirin.

Here’s why it matters:

Opill also known as the “mini-pill” is manufactured by the Irish company Perrigo.

The mini-pill contains a synthetic form of the hormone progesterone called progestin. According to the prescription label, progestin-only oral contraceptives such as Opill tablets, prevent conception by various mechanisms of action. The mini-pill may suppress ovulation in approximately half of the cycles. Some users may experience thickening of the cervical mucus to inhibit sperm penetration. Also, the mini-pill lowers the midcycle LH and FSH peaks, slowing the movement of the ovum through the fallopian tubes, and altering the endometrium. If fertilization occurs and an egg is fertilized, the mini-pill will prevent the newly conceived human being from implanting within the endometrium.

“Opill over the counter may prevent conception or implantation.”

Opill use can be associated with ectopic pregnancy. “The incidence of ectopic pregnancies for progestin-only oral contraceptive users is 5 per 1000 woman-years. Up to 10% of pregnancies reported in clinical studies of progestin-only oral contraceptive users are extrauterine.”

The FDA emphasizes that Opill contains a single synthetic hormone and generally carries fewer side effects than combination hormone pills that contain progestin and synthetic estrogen. What women probably do not know is that the mini-pill still comes with many side effects, including headache, dizziness, nausea, increased appetite, abdominal pain, cramps and bloating, fatigue, vaginal discharge, dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation), nervousness, backache, breast discomfort, and acne. The use of progestin has been associated with an increased risk of depression, breast cancer, cervical cancer, and brain cancer.

Making Opill over the counter put women at unnecessary health risks. Opill causes changes in menstrual bleeding, including bleeding and spotting between menstrual periods, and ovarian cysts. Sometimes surgery is needed to remove a cyst on the ovary. Opill also contains FD&C Yellow No. 5 (tartrazine) which may cause allergic reactions (including bronchial asthma). Although the overall incidence of FD&C Yellow No. 5 (tartrazine) sensitivity in the general population is low, it is frequently seen in patients who also have aspirin sensitivity.

The label of Opill states, “These are not all the possible side effects of Opill. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.” Women deserve better than easy access to a potent steroid with many dangerous side effects. Women need more education and guidance from doctors, NP, nurses, and health advocates no less.

It is interesting that the manufacturer Perrigo says Opill could be an “important new option for the estimated 15 million U.S. women who currently use no birth control or less effective methods, such as condoms. They are a fifth of women who are child-bearing age.” A big lucrative business!

What can you do?

  1. Pray the Novena of Healing from Contraception with us from March 17 to March 25.
  2. Order some materials to help us educate women about the effects of hormonal contraception and the safe, healthy, and morally acceptable alternatives.
  3. Donate to our ministry to help our mission of fostering God’s plan of love, chastity, marriage, and children.


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