Should birth control be easy to obtain? Or should it be prescribed for special circumstances?
The argument whether or not the “pill” should be prescribed has been a hot topic amongst our generation. With the sex education we have received in our schools, we have been taught to approach sex with protection (if we choose too). Some have argued that birth control should be available over the counter in case of an “emergency”. But what draws the line between use and abuse?
The pill provides many benefits other than sex protection including hormonal control, acne management, and cramping a woman might experience during her period. People have other sources of protection such as condoms, which are sold without a prescription. Birth control alters the body’s hormonal structure which provides a reason for a prescription. According to the New York Time’s article Health Concerns Over Popular Contraceptives, the author states, “Researchers have long known that taking a combination hormone birth control pill — which contains estrogen and a progestin hormone — can increase the risk of stroke and blood clots in the legs and lungs”. Because of this reason, it is necessary to attain a prescription so the doctors can assess the patient’s risks.
Some negative side effects as listed from the website Medical News Today are intermenstrual spotting, nausea, breast tenderness, headaches, weight gain, mood changes, missed periods, decreased libido, vaginal discharge, and visual contact with contact lenses. These side effects can be problematic to some so in order to advise safety for people who use it, it is best to provide a prescription.
There are other contraceptives that are just as effective as the pill without ruining one’s inner body. One example would be the condom. They are sold in drug stores for reasonable prices and do not change up the body’s hormone structure in any way. They also do not hold any side effects if somebody chose to use one. It serves the same purpose as birth control as to not impregnate anybody.
All in all, I believe that birth control should be only available if prescribed. Minors should be encouraged to not rely on birth control for their everyday uses. Only if the individual has other medical reasons why they need it, only then it could be prescribed. Otherwise, they should seek to other options if they want to reduce the risk of pregnancy.