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prescribed birth control pills

By June 28, 2016 - 6:59am
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I'm thinking of starting the pill, but I do not have a lot of knowledge about it other than the fact it prevents pregnancy. I would like to consult my doctor about it but I would run the risk of my family finding out through our insurance. Would it be safer to buy one from my local pharmacy or better if I got the prescribed medication?
The only health situation I have is anemia if that is going to be a problem.

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Hello Anm45,

Welcome again to the EmpowHER community. Thank you for reaching out to us with your question regarding over the counter oral contraceptives versus prescription oral contraceptives.

Are you currently under a doctor's care for anemia? Is it the result of prolonged or heavy periods?

According to an article, "What You Need To Know About ‘Over-The-Counter’ Birth Control Pills'" posted on January 6, 2016 online at The Huffington Post, "Oregon is the first state in the U.S. to allow women to buy birth control pills without a doctor’s prescription. And when a similar law in California takes effect in a few months, the Golden state will be next."

To learn more, please visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/over-the-counter-birth-control_us_568c5fdae4b0a2b6fb6dc14a

Most doctors say that women should be able to get hormonal birth control after a brief consultation with a pharmacist, similar to what Oregon and California’s new laws allow.

Last Friday, women in California became able to purchase oral contraceptives without a prescription.

Anm45, your ability to purchase birth control pills without a prescription depends on where you live. Also, you will be responsible to pay out of pocket. It is not so much which is safer, but availability.


June 28, 2016 - 8:14am
(reply to Maryann Gromisch RN)

Thank you for responding so quickly. To answer your question, no I am not under a doctor's care for my anemia. I sometimes take iron pills but not so much anymore. I did not realize that my anemia resulted in heavy and prolonged periods, but yes it does. Will this be a problem when purchasing the pills?

June 28, 2016 - 10:40am
Guide (reply to Anm45)

Hello Anm45,

You are welcome. To clarify, heavy and prolonged periods can lead to iron deficiency anemia. If your period flow is heavy and your periods last up to or more than seven days, that could be the cause of your anemia.

If you live in California or Oregon, then purchasing birth control pills without a prescription is an option for you.

Anm45, the choice is yours.

June 29, 2016 - 8:21am
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