What are over-the-counter (OTC) birth control pills?

ribbon Medically reviewed Jul 2023 by Robin Watkins, CNM, WHNP-BC

Getting the birth control pill over the counter means you can buy it without ever talking to a health care provider. You can get the pill right off the shelf at the drug store and other retail locations, probably next to the condoms and the lube. The only difference between getting the birth control pill over the counter and getting it with a prescription is how you get it. They work the same way. Whether you get the pill over the counter or with a prescription, it’s a pill that you take once a day that works by releasing hormones to prevent pregnancy before it starts. The birth control pill is NOT an abortion pill and it’s NOT emergency contraception either.

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