San Antonio gynecologist weighs in on new over-the-counter birth control pill

The cost of the pill has not yet been released

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio gynecologist says life just got easier for women seeking birth control because it will soon be on grocery store shelves and online.

UT Health San Antonio and University Hospital Gynecologist Dr. Gabriel Medrano said Opill — the first over-the-counter birth control pill in the U.S. — is safe and effective.

“This medication is very similar to the one that we give to patients that are breastfeeding. So it is as safe as someone who is breastfeeding their baby,” Medrano said. “It should make their life easier if that’s their decision. Sometimes patients kind of have trouble seeing a physician for many, many reasons. Busy schedule, lack of insurance.”

Medrano said people with breast cancer or people with a history of blood clotting shouldn’t take the pill.

He recommends seeing a doctor right away if you notice abnormal bleeding.

The FDA approved the drug for all women “of reproductive age,” including teenagers.

Medrano said Opill may not be for everyone.

“That actually is case by case in that moment, especially if the patient is young, that should be discussed with the family and also their physician,” Medrano said.

Overall, Medrano believes this recent approval from the FDA is a victory for women’s healthcare.

“Having this medication available is another way of empowering our patients,” Medrano said.

The cost of the pill has not yet been released and it won’t be on store shelves until early next year.

About the Authors:

Adam Barraza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12 and an El Paso native. He interned at KVIA, the local ABC affiliate, while still in high school. He then moved to San Antonio and, after earning a degree from San Antonio College and the University of the Incarnate Word, started working in news. He’s also a diehard Dodgers fan and an avid sneakerhead.