Birth Control

Everything you need to know about Opill, the new over-the-counter birth control pill

Opill, the new, long-awaited over-the-counter birth control pill, is about to hit the shelves! Here’s everything you need to know about it, including why you might choose it, how it works, where and how you can get it, and how to start taking it.

What is Opill?

Opill is a new progestin-only birth control pill (also called a mini-pill), which will soon be available over the counter. That means you won’t need a prescription to get it. You can get it readily at drugstores, grocery stores, convenience stores, and online.

What is the difference between Opill and the mini-pill (the progestin-only birth control pill)?

Opill contains the same type of hormone and works in the same way as other progestin-only birth control pills. The only difference between over-the-counter birth control and prescription birth control is how you get it. Like all other versions of the mini-pill, Opill is estrogen-free and contains a hormone, progestin. The main way progestin prevents pregnancy is by thickening the cervical mucus, which makes it harder for the sperm and egg to meet. To be effective in preventing pregnancy, Opill (like most mini-pills) must be taken as close as possible to the same time every day.

What is the difference between Opill and the combined birth control pill?

There are many different brands of birth control pills, but there are only two main pill categories—the mini-pill (progestin-only pill) and the combined birth control pill. Both types of birth control pills contain hormones. The biggest difference between them is how you use them and which hormones they contain. The mini-pill contains only progestin. Combination birth control pills contain both estrogen and progestin. Opill is a brand of mini-pill.

If you use a progestin-only pill, or mini-pill, you need to be more careful about taking your pill at the same time every day. If you are more than 3 hours late taking the mini-pill (unless you are using the Slynd brand, which offers more flexibility), you will need to use a backup method of birth control for next 48 hours. With the combination pill, you just need to be sure to take one pill a day—the timing doesn’t matter.

Why would someone choose Opill over other types of birth control pills?

There are many reasons why a person might choose Opill––some have to do with the fact that Opill is a type of mini-pill, and some have to do with the fact that it is available over the counter. The mini-pill is often prescribed if you are sensitive to combination pills and have side effects or cannot take estrogen for another reason.

Because Opill is available over the counter, unlike all other birth control pills, which require a prescription, you don’t need to talk to a health care provider to start taking it. That means it may be more accessible, more private, and may be less expensive than using other types of birth control pills.

Is Opill the same as emergency contraception (EC)? Is it the same as the abortion pill?

Nope. Opill is a birth control pill, meaning you take it regularly to prevent pregnancy. EC allows you to prevent pregnancy AFTER unprotected sex. The abortion pill ends a pregnancy that has already begun.

How do I switch to Opill from another birth control method?

You can start taking Opill at any time during your cycle. You may or may not need to use a backup method of birth control, such as a condom, when you switch to Opill––it depends on what type of birth control you used (if any) and how often you use it .

If you switch to Opill from a non-hormonal method of birth control, if you use a hormonal method but do not use it regularly (you miss pills or forget to change your ring or patch), or if you are not already using any form of birth control, you will need to use a backup method of birth control within 48 hours of starting Opill.

If you’ve always used another form of hormonal birth control, including other brands of birth control pills, and you want to switch to Opill, you can start taking Opill the day you get it and stop using of your old way at that moment, and you will be protected from pregnancy. You do not need to use a backup method of birth control after starting Opill. For example, if you are using a different brand of birth control pill, you can take your last pill from that pack one day and then the first pill from the new Opill pack the next day. If you are switching from a combination pill to Opill, make sure you switch at the same time you are using the active pills. If you switch while you are using the inactive pills at the end of the pack, you will need to use a backup method within 48 hours of starting Opill.

How soon does Opill start to protect against pregnancy?

If you are not on a hormonal method of birth control, or if you are on a hormonal method, but you do not use it consistently, when you start taking Opill, it will start to be effective in preventing pregnancy after 48 hours . If you have sex during those first 48 hours, you’ll need to use a non-hormonal backup method of birth control to prevent pregnancy.

How do I take Opill?

You only take one pill a day at the same time. To be effective in preventing pregnancy, Opill must be taken every day within a three-hour window. For example, you can take Opill every day between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm, although it’s easier not to accidentally go out of the three-hour window if you plan to take it at the same time every day. Some people set an alarm or take their pill at the same time as they do every day.

If you take your pill anytime within that three-hour window, you’re good to go! Opill is 98% effective in preventing pregnancy when taken at the same time every day.

What happens if I miss a pill or take it late?

Anytime you are more than three hours late taking Opill, you will need to use a backup method, such as a condom, for the next 48 hours.

If you miss taking Opill within that three-hour window (which means it’s been more than 27 hours since your last pill), take the missed pill as soon as you remember and then go back to your normal time the next day. Even if that means taking two pills a day, that’s okay. Use a backup method for 48 hours while continuing to take Opill every day.

Can I start Opill immediately after using emergency contraceptive pills?

EC pills are birth control that you take after sex to prevent pregnancy before it starts. Over-the-counter EC pills, like Plan B, also contain progestin, the same hormone in Opill. You can start Opill after using EC (although you may want to wait until the next day to reduce nausea), but you will need to use a backup method to prevent pregnancy for 48 hours after starting Opill. If you are using prescription EC pills (brand name ella), you will need to wait 5 days after taking EC to start Opill to prevent your EC pill from becoming less effective.

Can I start Opill immediately after the abortion?

It depends on what type of abortion you have. If you’re having an abortion procedure, it’s perfectly safe (and often convenient!) to start birth control the same day as your abortion. That means you can start using Opill (or another brand of pill) the same day.

If you have a medical abortion (sometimes called “the abortion pill”), you will be able to start Opill or another hormonal birth control method immediately after your abortion is complete (that is, as soon as you finish the heavier way.bleeding that starts after the last pills).

Can I start Opill after giving birth?

Yes! All brands of the mini-pill are safe to use immediately after giving birth, including if you are breastfeeding.

Is there anyone who should not use Opill?

Opill is safe for almost everyone who can get pregnant. You should not use Opill or any other brand of mini-pill if you currently have breast cancer. Talk to a health care provider before using the mini-pill if you have a history of cancer, have genital bleeding that you don’t know why, have liver disease or a liver tumor, have a history of stroke, have been bariatric surgery, or have lupus or heart disease. Also talk to your provider about whether the mini-pill is safe for you if you take anticonvulsant medications, such as seizure medications.

Can I still talk to my doctor about birth control if I’m using Opill?

Absolutely. Health care providers, including doctors, nurse practitioners, and pharmacists, can be good resources to talk about your birth control and other sexual health needs, even if you’re using birth control. that you get without a prescription, like Opill or condoms. And if you have questions about Opill, they should answer those too.

Where can I get Opill and how much is it?

Opill will soon be available in drugstores, grocery stores, convenience stores, and online. There is a suggested retail price of $19.99 for a one-month supply and $49.99 for a three-month supply in stores. Each retailer or store may set their own price, so it may be different based on where you get it from and/or where you live. A six-month supply is also available for $89.99 at

Do I have to speak to a pharmacist when I buy Opill or can I check out at any register?

Opill is FDA-approved for over-the-counter use for people of all ages and gender identities without a prescription and without the need to talk to a pharmacist or other health care provider. There are no limits on who can buy Opill, and no one should ask for your ID to buy it. However, individual stores and retailers may choose to lock Opill up, meaning you may need to speak to someone working there to unlock it.

I don’t remember taking a pill every day. Is there another method I can use?

Taking a birth control pill every day is great for some people, but for others, it is not suitable. Check out our Method Explorer for all the information you need about birth control methods you don’t have to use every day, from the condom you only use when you have sex, to the ring, which you only have to think twice about times a month, with IUDs and implants that are effective for years.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button