Skip to content

Birth Control Health Center

Font Size

Emergency Contraception Without a Prescription

continued...

Emergency contraception is already sold without a prescription in several European countries, and some contraceptive experts say it's about time the U.S. made it available to women here. This would ensure that a woman could buy it for an emergency and keep it at home in case birth control fails or is forgotten.

David Grimes, MD, says emergency contraception is "grossly underused" in the U.S., but he thinks putting it in drug stores and other places where women can buy it easily should help increase its use and prevent unwanted pregnancies.

"Any child can walk into a drug store or grocery store in America and buy a lethal quantity of aspirin, no questions asked," says Grimes, vice president of biomedical affairs for Family Health International. "[Emergency contraception] should be available to women right now without a prescription."

The makers of another emergency contraceptive, known as Preven, say as many as two out of three women in the U.S. have never even heard of emergency contraception.

1|2

Today on WebMD

IUD
Here's what to expect.
man opening condom wrapper
Do you know the right way to use them?
 
birth control pills
Here's what to do next.
doctor and patient
His and her options.
 
Forgot To Take Your Birth Control Pills
Article
pelivic pain slideshow
Slideshow
 
Birth Control Pills Weight Gain
Article
Ortho Evra Birth Control Patch
Article
 
Comparing Birth Control Pill
Article
New Birth Control Pill
Video
 
HPV Vaccine Future
Article
Young couple holding hands
Quiz