Have you heard of the Opill? Is it right for you?


Birth control pills have been used in the US (by prescription only) for more than 50 years. In 2023, the FDA approved Opill, the first birth control pill intended for sale over the counter with no prescription needed. While this offers many more people access to a nonprescription option for pregnancy prevention, it is not recommended to take progestin-only and estrogen-progestin birth control together. 

It is essential for women to have access to comprehensive sexual health education, regular healthcare check-ups, and open communication with healthcare providers about any concerns they may have. Additionally, practicing safe sex, using effective contraception, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and seeking support when needed are all crucial components of maintaining good sexual health.

What is the Opill?

Opill, sometimes referred to as “mini pills”, is a progestin-only form of birth control. That means it uses a single hormone called progestin (or norgestrel) to prevent pregnancy. When perfect use is practiced, meaning taking the pill EVERY day at the SAME time, Opill is 98% effective at preventing pregnancy. It works by:

  • affecting ovulation so that the ovaries do not release an egg every month.
  • thickening cervical mucus, which blocks sperm from reaching an egg.
  • changing the uterine lining in ways that keep a fertilized egg from implanting.

Are there any side effects with the Opill?

Progestin-only pills are usually associated with mild side effects. The most common side effects are:

  • unexpected vaginal bleeding or spotting
  • acne
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • increased appetite
  • cramps 
  • gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, abdominal pain, and bloating
  • Opill.com notes that it should not be used by breast cancer survivors

Unlike birth control pills that combine the hormones estrogen and progestin, Opill is not known to increase the risk of developing a blood clot. If you experience severe or persistent side effects, it is important to contact your doctor. 

Can it be used as emergency birth control?

No, it should not be used as emergency birth control.

What should you know about STIs?

Like other birth control pills, Opill doesn’t prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as syphilis, gonorrhea, or chlamydia.

You can reduce the chance of getting STDs/STIs by correctly using condoms any time you have sex. If you think you have an STD/STI, call Bella Medical Services to get your free test. 

Is the Opill right for you?

The answer depends on your unique needs and preferences. Your best possible next step is to consult with a trusted medical professional to get answers about your unique medical needs and learn more about what options might be right for you. 

At Bella Medical Clinic, we are here to help with free medical pregnancy services as well as a safe space to navigate your pregnancy decision. Our medical professionals want to meet you where you are on your journey. Schedule your free appointment today to learn more about your options and get your questions answered. 

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